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Awesome: 20.51%
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6 reviews, 81 user ratings

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Saw 3
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by EricDSnider

"Cary Elwes and Donnie Wahlberg, we hardly knew ye."
4 stars

There are some heartwarming lessons to be learned in "Saw III," the latest blood-soaked installment in the increasingly implausible horror franchise. First, that good help is hard to find. Second, that it is important to forgive your enemies and not become trapped in a quagmire of vengeance-seeking, for that way lies bitterness, anger, and possibly seeing someone's head blow up.

The elusive killer called Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) is up to his old tricks again, putting people he deems worthy of scorn in elaborate traps from which they can only escape by torturing themselves. Except these latest schemes, the police notice with some degree of disappointment as they sift through the charred remains of Jigsaw's latest failed pupil, lack a certain je ne sais quoi. They don't bear the marks of Jigsaw's usual discipline and to-the-letter fairness. What's more, we know from "Saw II" that Jigsaw is dying of brain cancer, so he's not apt to be up and about setting up torture chambers anyway.

Yep, ol' Jig's got himself an apprentice now, a former victim named Amanda (Shawnee Smith) who survived her test and is now learning to continue Jigsaw's work. The current project: Teach a man named Jeff (Angus Macfadyen), consumed with hatred for his son's killer, to move on with his life. The methodology: Put Jeff in situations where he can either watch the responsible parties die or forgive them and save them.

Meanwhile, Jigsaw himself is determined to survive long enough to see whether Jeff passes his tests or not. Weak and decrepit in a makeshift hospital room in his secret lair, he drafts an E.R. doctor named Lynn (Bahar Soomekh) to keep him alive at least until Jeff's outcome is determined. The trick? If Jigsaw's heart stops beating, a device rigged to Lynn's body will kill her, too. Talk about the high cost of malpractice insurance!

The original "Saw" creators James Wan and Leigh Whannell are back as screenwriters (Wan was absent for part 2), and they've apparently caught "Lost" fever along with the rest of America. Every major character in the film gets flashback scenes, including a few that add a bit of texture to the events of parts 1 and 2. While not particularly relevant to the current proceedings, it is a nifty little present for the fans.

Also gift-wrapped and delivered free of charge to the fans? Lots and lots of pain, torture, blood and mayhem. Why, there's even an instance of an electric saw being applied to the exposed skull of a living person -- and it's not even important to the plot! That one's purely a freebie!

As an evil villain, Jigsaw stopped being scary as soon as they showed him to us. (I believe that's actually Lesson 1 in Horror Films 101: Don't put your "monster" in every single scene.) Now that he's unequivocally the focus of the story, bedridden yet still remarkably lucid, continuing to ramble on about his elaborate "games," he's downright laughable. I remember the chills of his pre-recorded messages in the first film. Part 3 has nothing like that.

Part 3 also lacks a real protagonist. Jigsaw will die sooner or later, either from the brain cancer or from less natural means, so there's no point worrying about him. Lynn doesn't give us much to work with, and Jeff's situation is so improbable -- I don't care how mad you are at the judge who let your son's killer off the hook, you're not going to just sit there and watch him die -- that his "tests" lack any suspense whatsoever.

That leaves Amanda, whose attachment to Jigsaw is, you'll pardon the pun, puzzling. I don't understand her motivation for doing his bidding, much less why she seems to be in love with him. And a character you don't understand is a character you don't care about.

Like part 2, "Saw III" has been hyper-directed by Darren Lynn Bousman and over-edited by "Saw" regular Kevin Greutert. Even the non-torture scenes feel moody and depressed, all over-saturated in dark colors and scored with harsh, dour music. It's a feel-bad film, for sure.

But is it an enjoyable feel-bad film? I guess. Is "enjoyable" even the right word? The whole stupid Jeff story aside, Wan and Whannell have a few clever ideas up their sleeves, and there is a bit more ingenuity in this chapter than there was in the last one. They've hacked out this audacious little niche for themselves, and I say more power to 'em. This is dark, superficially unsettling stuff (superficial in that the images won't haunt you for any longer than the movie lasts), but if that's what the kids want nowadays, "Saw III" more or less delivers it.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=15270&reviewer=247
originally posted: 10/27/06 06:30:22
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User Comments

9/21/17 morris campbell it sux saw 2 was alot better 1 stars
5/07/16 Andra Birzu One of the best part of the series, I really love mysteries so I love this series. 5 stars
3/28/14 parisandlondon I agree that Macfadyen is a terrible actor. Never understood the hype. 1 stars
3/02/10 Stanley Thai This film is a great recovery from Saw II. 3 stars
1/12/10 William Clever plot, genius ending. It's a real shame they had to "resort to gore and violence" 3 stars
10/13/09 American Slasher Goddess The meat and the potatoes of the series; the best entry in the series 4 stars
11/02/08 Shaun Wallner Scary Film! 4 stars
10/27/08 Sugarfoot Once again some good ideas but the execution only works occasionally. 3 stars
7/22/08 David V Lame story, and Amanda was pretentious as hell. 1 stars
2/29/08 Ivana Mann Deeply unpleasant, sadistic waste of celluloid. Strictly for pervs! 1 stars
10/29/07 Beau Gross!! i was cringing in the cinemas! but the first is still the best, need to see IV now 3 stars
10/21/07 Adam The gore and nudity deviates from the first two, and the film has a less thrilling premise. 3 stars
7/29/07 ben dover first film original this just fucking sick boring trash 2 stars
6/12/07 Dave it sucked 1 stars
5/25/07 Piz if you like the series you won't be disappointed, I thout it was better than Saw 2. 4 stars
5/18/07 David Pollastrini good gore and hot women! 5 stars
4/27/07 Dave Horrowitz This Is crap. ran out of ideas to kill them. the dickheads. rot in hell. u assholes 2 stars
4/27/07 Anothony mark this is fucking shit 1 stars
4/27/07 Anothony stevenson It's Awesome dudes funny as hell 5 stars
4/23/07 kristina fucking moron. Amanda helped him with the traps. His cancer also developed over the movies. 5 stars
4/09/07 kimberlee this movie sucks 1 stars
3/17/07 Justin P Shit movie, somehow worse than the 2nd and I didn't think that was possible 1 stars
2/26/07 Mike Awesome Awesome stuff! Very cruel! The ending was kinda silly but still an AWESOME flick! 5 stars
2/05/07 William Goss Overwrought depravity deprived of any prior suspense by filling in blanks. Worst one yet. 2 stars
2/03/07 Mike Probably the best horror movie ever! 5 stars
2/01/07 matt actually pretty good, despite the seemingly endless flashbacks 4 stars
1/27/07 mike_rackhabbit what movie ? 3 stars
1/23/07 action movie fan morbidily fascinating-quite good for an extreme gore film--clever plotting 4 stars
12/21/06 Maurice EVO Let the game begin!!! 5 stars
12/12/06 mig Really liked it, but not as good as the first 2. They went the wrong direction with it. 4 stars
12/03/06 zeus this is one of the best films 5 stars
12/01/06 Marsc what pop-video joke, Eli Roth and HOSTEL=#1 1 stars
11/30/06 tammi it was gorey but funny at the same time 4 stars
11/21/06 jesus the movie of saw3 3 stars
11/20/06 Michele better than the second 5 stars
11/19/06 michael first was much better but this had its moments, someplace 4 stars
11/14/06 Drew Galletti A lot of great gore, but not as good as part 1 or 2 3 stars
11/13/06 MR tHE bEST FILM I EVER SEEN 4 stars
11/13/06 Big Al i fell asleep... 2 stars
11/12/06 J.Pet Like Jigsaw's heartrate, it flatlined 2 stars
11/12/06 Dark Enchantress Not as good as the first, NO plot, but ok. Plus i love the Saw movies! 4 stars
11/12/06 Tiffany Losco Yuck, these movies freak me out. 3 stars
11/12/06 In mE I tRuSt reviewers u are pathetic...if you can't judge movies then don't do it.I feel sorry for u 5 stars
11/10/06 Jamethon Not great (obviously), but...it was still better than HOSTEL! 4 stars
11/10/06 DIANA 1st one was better & 2nd & 3rd just went down the hill 2 stars
11/07/06 Michael If you liked Romance in Manhattan, go see this 1 stars
11/06/06 Ashley The movie's storyline was well-written, however the dialogue actually made me laugh 4 stars
11/05/06 Kyle Really good movie! I grossed out my sister when i ate a sandwich after seeing it(No Barf :) 5 stars
11/04/06 Kimberly pretty gorey, better than 2 but not as good as Saw 4 stars
11/04/06 Nick sucks fat hairy ass - 2 stars
11/04/06 josh awesome movie, story was filled with twists and turns and it was original. definite 5 stars 5 stars
11/04/06 nikolina really gory dont watch if u have a weak stomach but i LOVED it 4 stars
11/03/06 dumbfounded 3 sites= 3 copies-same review=all wrong critics should be forced to watch "the break up" 5 stars
11/03/06 not just some guy "gore" sums up this one, great movie better than 2 5 stars
11/03/06 brad thought i was gonna pass out... truly gruesome 4 stars
11/03/06 Harroldo Fun to watch, but a bit too unbelivable this time. nice ingma at the end 3 stars
11/02/06 jae this movie was not as good as the 2nd but better than the 1st 2 stars
11/02/06 ravindra ganesh very beautiful movie, like dam 5 stars
11/01/06 Drew Great gore, but the story line has weakened incredibly 5 stars
11/01/06 DIEGO awesome, very good gore fest movie! 5 stars
10/31/06 Gavin This film hainted me, too many scenes that i couldn't stomache! will still watch Saw4 Tho! 3 stars
10/30/06 Stanley Thai It's a lot better than Saw II but not as good as Saw. 4 stars
10/30/06 Greg I seriously was grossed-out by several scenes. Loved it!! 5 stars
10/30/06 Steve Get off your soapbox you critics - enjoy it for what it is, a good old gore fest! 4 stars
10/30/06 robb brilliant. stunning conclusion to a memorable trilogy. 5 stars
10/30/06 Donny Martwick If you like crap, go see this! 1 stars
10/29/06 Mike If u rate this low, then NEVER watch horror again. This was FUCKIN AWESOME! Very Brutal! 5 stars
10/29/06 zac brilliant. so much better then Saw 2 5 stars
10/29/06 Hateful More turds for the morons. Go eat it up, SpaceMonkeys! 1 stars
10/29/06 benson first movie ive ever walked out on 1 stars
10/29/06 David Worst of the trilogy. 2 stars
10/29/06 mary not as good as the first, but better than the 2nd. 4 stars
10/28/06 Nick Best of the series. I loved it & I am a critic. 4 stars
10/28/06 Wolfie Weakest of the three but still pretty good. 3 stars
10/28/06 Jules SawIII was very good.. Geez, reviewer, whine much? 4 stars
10/28/06 Jake it was actually really good. critics dont like the saws anyway. 5 stars
10/28/06 B.H loved it!!! Directors are laughing all the way to the bank despite you so called movie crit 5 stars
10/28/06 Peter I loved it. 5 stars
10/27/06 DIANA OK 3 stars
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  27-Oct-2006 (R)
  DVD: 23-Jan-2007



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