Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I've wanted to see this movie for awhile. I'm one of the people who loved the direction the "Saw" franchise went in after part 3 (part 3 is still my favorite) and then part 4 hit me in the face and I wanted to punch everyone in the face. Part 4 is one of those movies that has the daunting task of setting up a bunch of plot twists that won't make sense until they are revealed in later movies, so it's very unsatisfying. Not only that, but Costas Mandylor, the main actor in the movie, can't act his way out of a paper bag and he has to carry most of the movie, so it's irritating. Further, the main cop who's being tested in part 4 doesn't actually do anything wrong (he's not a bad person, he doesn't hurt people or do underhanded things, he's just very overzealous and he essentially is being punished for doing his job TOO WELL...throughout the movie his "tests" involve trying to get him to ignore horrible crimes, and when he tries to solve them and bring people to justice anyway, he "fails" his tests). This bugged me. Jigsaw was always about teaching people lessons so they'd appreciate their lives more, so I balked at seeing him torturing a poor guy because he was good at his job. This coupled with the fact that Costas Mandylor introduced the first ever character into the Saw series who was completely devoid of any good characteristics (this guy is a total sleazeball with no redeeming value...even Amanda had motivations we could understand, even if we didn't agree with her...this guy, he's an asshole, plain and simple). All these factors turned me off the series and made me hate part 4. I was sure the series was unsalvagable. then I saw part 5, and it was a little ray of light. It explained a lot of the plot twists that part 4 left hanging, and Costas Mandylor, which he still couldn't deliver a believable line ot save his life, he was a little better, and the movie itself managed to deliver some plot twists without drowning itself in them. So I dug it. I was excited to see where part 6 would take us.
How did it hold up? Well first of all, they definitely ratcheted up the gore from part 5. This one is drenched in the red stuff, and while they'll never top the sheer gruefest that was part 4, this one is definitely gooey and icky enough. This movie also manages to resolve most of the plot twists that poor part 4 left dangling, and while I still don't like it for the other reasons I outlined above (bad acting; likable hero being "tested" for stupid reason, unlikable bad guy who is the first bad guy we have no sympathy for in the history of the series) I don't hate it as much as I once did. Hell, I'm even planning to buy it, since I want to own all these movies now. Costas Mandylor, which he's still a big lunkhead, is a much better actor this time around. He gets better with every movie, and I guess I can't fault him if he's impro0ving, which is what every actor should do as they move from film to film. This movie also has the =pleasure of introducing actress Tanedra Howard to us. She competed in the VH1 reality show "Scream "Queens" to win a role in "Saw VI," and she was my favorite on that show, so I loved seeing her here. Her character has a small role, but she lights up the screen with a lot of pathos, and I really appreciated her performance.
All in all, I really enjoyed this movie. It managed to introduce a bunch of new plot threads without failing to resolve its own central plot, and I can't wait to see which direction this series takes with part 7. If you're one of those people who didn't like the direction the movies took with part 3, you probably won't like this one, either. But if you're like me and you enjoy these stories for what they are, cool little puzzles with a lot of gore and poor tortured souls, give this movie a shot.