The film Jigsaw, directed by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig, takes the Saw franchise to new levels of stupidity and nonsense. What started as a thrilling, thought-provoking franchise in the original Saw has now been reduced to a shoddily thrown together movie that does not offer any scares or intensity of its predecessor.
The film introduces the audience to the game with a robber named Edgar Munsen(Josiah Black) who goads the police into shooting and injuring him while he activates a trigger to begin the game. The film then goes to a barn that has five captives in bucket helmets being dragged towards a wall with buzz saws rotating quickly. When the people are prompted to make a blood sacrifice to ensure survival to the next level, they each let the saws cut their skin, allowing them to advance, with the exception of one, who does not make it. After the body of the dead man is strung up for the public to see, it propagates the investigation into the copycat killer, using the same modus operandi as the deceased John Kramer (Tobin Bell), or Jigsaw. The investigation is led by Detective Halloran (Callum Keith Rennie) and Detective Hunt (Cle Bennett), who must invoke the help of forensic scientist Logan Nelson (Matt Passmore) and his assistant Eleanor Bonneville (Hannah Emily Anderson), who has a strange obsession with Jigsaw’s game.
As in the first film, the movie attempts to blur the line between what is right and wrong, and gives the prisoners an out with confessions of their sins. While the prisoners struggle to discover why they were captured, their stories are revealed more and more as the film drags on. The prisoners are Anna (Laura Vandervoort), drug-dealer Ryan (Paul Braunstein), petty robber Carly (Britney Allen), and Mitch (Mandela Van Peebles). The prisoners are very poorly developed and do not give the audience any reason to have sympathy for them.
The devices used by the Jigsaw character to get justice are not very interesting compared to the other films. There are no characters that have any redeeming characteristics in the movie and there are very few scenes that make the audience jump, or even have any sort of fear that the original installment elicits.
Halloran’s character gets much of the focus throughout the film, with his morally ambiguous investigative style. The character is at odds with Logan, as Logan has seen him botch or alter evidence and let people go. This mistrust and deceitfulness between the two attempt to make the viewer question who is right and who is wrong in the ongoing investigation.
After seeing the film, it is obvious that the film is more of a cash grab using the success of the previous Saw movies to make money and capitalize on a weak Halloween market. The film is poorly written, and eventually leads to a climax that is not even interesting. There is no real driving plot throughout the film, and the lack of character development greatly takes away from the final product. The concept of Jigsaw being the judge, jury, and executioner is an interesting concept, but when it is thrown together with no real plotline, the game is not as fun. Rather than seeing this film, I would recommend revisiting the first incarnation.