Jamie Kennedy's favorite movie review site
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 20.51%
Worth A Look27.35%
Just Average: 17.09%
Pretty Crappy: 7.69%

6 reviews, 81 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Hamilton by Peter Sobczynski

Outpost, The by Peter Sobczynski

Audition, The by Jay Seaver

Sometimes Always Never by Jay Seaver

My Spy by Peter Sobczynski

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga by Peter Sobczynski

Irresistible (2020) by Peter Sobczynski

Lifechanger by Jay Seaver

Gangster, the Cop, the Devil, The by Jay Seaver

You Should Have Left by Lybarger

subscribe to this feed

Saw 3
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by Todd LaPlace

"At least it’s way better than “Saw II.”"
3 stars

I don’t exactly remember signing up for maggot-ridden pig carcasses and amateur brain surgery when I walked into “Saw III,” but I guess I should have been ready (add in a bloody root canal and you’ve got a fine collection of the best nightmare-inducing clips). After all, we’ve already seen someone cut off his own foot and another get impaled with nails when he couldn’t cut into his own eye. But while “Saw III” ratchets up the vomit-inducing gore, it also adds a new twist into this series of poorly-executed stellar premises; a complex psychological story that actually goes behind the bloody surface veneer. With “Saw IV” (and most likely “Saw V” and “Saw VI” and “Saw VII” and so on) an foregone conclusion for next Halloween, it’s about time that this series proved it was actually worth something.

Having now seen all three installments of the gruesome “Saw” series, I must admit that I’m still plagued by one nagging issue. No, it’s not about the excessive use of blood and gore that’s worrying me, nor is it the questions raised about what it really is to commit a murder. I could care less about the psychology of torture or the mind’s ability to allow us to perform heinous acts in order to save ourselves. The piece of information I desire is considerably simpler; what crime was Laura (Beverley Mitchell) framed for in “Saw II”? On her show “7th Heaven,” Mitchell plays the good godly daughter and even in this sequel, she still plays the sweet little angel. She’s the only member of the cast not to say “fuck” and she even refuses to say it on the DVD commentary track (instead genteelly referring to it as the “f-bomb”). We know about the arsonist, the drug dealer, the prostitute, the embezzler — the first guy shot and that “hand in the cookie jar” trap was for him — so what the hell could Laura have possibly done? Even to this day, it still bugs the crap out of me. Can anyone help me? Anyone? Please?

But Laura is what was, and while “Saw III” spends an awful lot of time rehashing and re-examining the past, Laura is sadly absent. Sequel No. 2 is strictly the Jigsaw (a now defunct name as he seems to have given up his lust for cutting out pieces of his victims’ skin) and Amanda show. All villains, all the time! Revealed to be a cancer patient in part two, Jigsaw, AKA John (Tobin Bell), lies bedridden in a room full of his twisted trap designs with protégé Amanda (Shawnee Smith), the first person to best one of his traps, close at his side. She has been charged with the task of continuing the legacy of pain, and as a possible final tribute to her mentor, she has concocted a doozy of a trap.

The player of the most psychologically elaborate game yet is Jeff (Angus Macfadyen), a father still mourning the loss of his young son to a drunk driver. As he works his way through the elaborate traps he finds that his fellow captives are those that in some way contributed to the loss of his son. There’s the reluctant witness who fled the scene who’s now chained in a freezer. There’s the lenient judge that let the driver go with only six months, now trapped at the bottom of a vat quickly filling with suffocating ground pig intestines. But ultimately, the traps are leading to a final showdown between Jeff and the person responsible for the loss of his child. Can he forgive those that trespassed against him or will he seek violent vengeance? In perhaps the series most profound inspiration, it actually begins to examine the depths of the forgiveness and salvation Jigsaw has been waxing poetic about since film one, a topical elevation for which we are all grateful.

The problem for Jigsaw and Amanda, though, is that he might not be healthy enough to witness his final game played to completion. With the cancer already ravaging Jigsaw’s brain, Amanda simply kidnaps Dr. Lynn Denlon (Bahar Soomekh) and forces her to perform emergency brain surgery by way of an elaborate death collar around the doctor’s neck. If she attempts to run or if Jigsaw’s heart flatlines, the device is activated and Lynn’s just another dead victim. But while her selection for the assignment is hardly random — she’s being punished for committing adultery — her role in the film doesn’t stop at doctor. Because “Saw III” is ultimately an in-depth look at the complex relationship between Jigsaw and Amanda —mentor and protégé, potential lovers, father and daughter — Lynn acts as the wedge being slowly driven between them. Amanda may have devised the traps, but Jigsaw is more interested in delving into Lynn, frequently dismissing Amanda from the conversation and forcibly berating her for breaking the rules of his game. Amanda gave herself to Jigsaw, and apparently, she’s not quite enough.

Whew. While both of the two previous films ran parallel stories, none have been quite as complex as the intermingling of “Saw III.” There’s Jeff facing his past. There’s Jigsaw and Amanda facing an uncertain future. There’s a number of anonymous victims thrown into quick-solve death traps, including one that threatens to rip out the rib cage of Det. Kerry (Dina Meyer) from the previous two films. There’s flashbacks that show Amanda’s involvement with Adam and Dr. Gordon (from film one) and Det. Matthews (from film two) that show exactly how far the ex-junkie has evolved since meeting Jigsaw. While it is noble that director Darren Lynn Bousman, writer Leigh Whannel and co-story consultant James Wan — all veterans of the “Saw” franchise — are attempting to tie up their loose ends, a la “Scream 3,” the efforts are largely unnecessary and simply drags down the mental issues raised by the current challenge. Does it really matter how Adam (Whannel) was captured and arranged in his shackles prior to the start of the original “Saw”? There’s a fine line between being detailed and being obsessive to the point of detracting from the story, and “Saw III” has obliterated that line with a vat of pig intestines.

Slightly more animated than rotting pig flesh, Bell does his best to earn his acting paycheck while remaining stationary, and for the most part he succeeds. His gravely voice and intense understanding of the games that make Jigsaw tick continue to effectively make us uneasy, although such praise is lessened when forced to admit that Jigsaw is not the most complicated of villains, even in his own film. But while Bell fulfills his creepy quotient, it’s really Smith that steals this one as the manic-depressive Amanda. Smith has mere seconds of screen time to switch from the cold, calculating trap designer to the insecure, jealous survivor of another’s trap design. With Jigsaw acutely aware of his morals and limitations, Smith’s Amanda is still searching for hers and she’s taken to another level when it’s revealed that she doesn’t exactly share those of her torture adviser.

When “Hostel” became a runaway success last year, it changed the rules of gruesome horror. The chopping off of one’s foot is almost quaint when compared to having one’s innards ripped out by a series of little metal hoops or having one’s extremities twisted around so they’re now facing the wrong direction. “Saw III” is just as kinetic and frenetic as the previous installments, just with more traps and a lot more blood. Does that necessarily make it better? Well, I’ll leave that up to your own personal tastes. While perhaps the most refined of the series, “Saw III” does have its share of narrative and cinematic problems. Your enjoyment of the film just depends on whether or not you care.

Why is it that every contemporary horror movie is either bloody and vile (“Hostel,” “The Hills Have Eyes,” “Wolf Creek” and yes, “Saw III”) or PG-13 and boring (“The Grudge 2,” “When a Stranger Calls,” “The Amityville Horror”)? Where’s our variety? I never thought I’d say this (especially after “Halloween: Resurrection”), but Michael Myers, we miss your simple knife-wielding, teenager-killing antics. Please come back soon.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=15270&reviewer=401
originally posted: 11/03/06 23:00:10
[printer] printer-friendly format  

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
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  27-Oct-2006 (R)
  DVD: 23-Jan-2007



[trailer] Trailer

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 
Privacy Policy | | HBS Inc. |   
All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast