“Saw III” is a classic case of an ambitious sequel that has a few really nice ideas and some scenes that will make fans of the franchise very happy, but in the end it doesn’t, it can’t hold a candle to the original. It’s a rule of the series by now that a “Saw” movie must include a lot of gory deaths as well as an unexpected twist at the end. While the first thing isn’t so hard to come up with – and the makers definitely do a fine job thinking of the sickest, bloodiest deaths possible – it’s the twist that seems more forced with each entry in the franchise. It’s a disadvantage that we know for a fact a surprise is coming. What’s worse is that in “Saw III” the final twist doesn’t resolve a question we’ve been asking ourselves during the whole movie. No, it’s question and answer in one and that doesn’t make it particularly interesting. It’s just a lot of explaining over some annoyingly edited flashbacks.
Speaking of flashbacks, there are way too many in this movie. We see things that we really never needed to see. Loose ends are tied up that aren’t actually loose ends. It’s like the writers read too many threads on the IMDb message boards for the previous movies and decided to spell out everything that has been ambiguous until now to put an end to all discussions once and for all. It only goes to show that those things were a lot more intriguing when they were left in the dark.
Jigsaw himself won’t ever keep his mouth shut in this movie. The guy has thought of many cruel traps but his constant blabbering is his most sadistic device. He’s already been overexposed in part 2, and this entry in the series continues to make that mistake. After the revelation about his identity at the end of the original, there really weren’t too many mysteries surrounding him anymore, but part 3 still tries to come up with some (mainly about his relationship to his accomplice). Again, this is unnecessary and not very interesting information.
Considering how quickly the “Saw” movies have been made, it’s a little miracle that they still turned out to be quite entertaining. However, one wonders if the franchise couldn’t be better if a bit more time was spent on developing the sequels. The production values in particular could use some improvement. The make up looks fine, but the stage design makes both sequels look like an episode of “Star Trek”.
So, yes, “Saw III” is as fast paced as its predecessors and the gruesome torture scenes don’t disappoint. See it, if you’re looking for mindless fun, but don’t expect it to knock you off your feet the way the original did. Apparently part 4 is already in the works. Now that’s just going to be a waste of time as “Saw III” already ends the series. Guess, Hollywood never learns. “Halloween” anyone?