Sunday, October 29, 2017

Movie Review: Jigsaw

The franchise that appeared dead and over returns to life with a mediocre entry that has a predictable and boring twist and a moderate amount of gore compared to some of the other gross films. Jigsaw sets itself apart from the previous franchise picking up a story ten years after the death of John Kramer (Tobin Bell). The story does utilize multiple timelines as it has done in other films to confuse the viewer but since this has happened several times before the shock has worn off. Detective Halloran (Callum Keith Rennie) is called to a chase when a perp Edgar Munsen (Josiah Black) demand he speak with him. Edgar claims that if he presses the button on a transmitter then the game will begin and right as he does, five people wake up with buckets on their head and chains around their necks.

Halloran and his partner Detective Keith Hunt (Clé Bennett) shoot Edgar in the hand but one bullet hits him in the chest. He's put into a coma so they can't get any answers. Bodies do start showing up around the city. Medical examiner Logan Nelson (Matt Passmore) is called in to look at the victims finding a microchip in the puzzle piece wound on the decapitated man's neck. His colleague Eleanor Bonneville (Hannah Emily Anderson) has a strange fascination with Jigsaw and his murders making Halloran suspect there might be something more there. The five people in the main trap all have to put blood on their bucket head sensors or their chains will drag them into the spinning saws. Four of the five make it out but the fifth is dragged into the saws.

The four remaining victims include Carly (Brittany Allen) a purse-snatcher who let a woman die without her asthma medication for three dollars and fifty-three cents. She has a poison in her body that another victim Ryan (Paul Braunstein) has the cure for in one of three syringes if she can decide which one. Jigsaw wants them all to confess to their crimes but each of them seems reluctant. Ryan injects Carly with all three of the fluids including one that kills her a bloody death. They were about to be hung by the chains around their necks but when Carly is injected, they are dropped to the ground. The next room has a sign on a door that says NO EXIT but Ryan steps forward to smash open the door. Instead, his foot crashes through the wood and a wire is wrapped around his leg.

The other two victims Mitch (Mandela Van Peebles) and Anna (Laura Vandervoort) move into the next room, a grain silo when the door swings shut behind them, a classic move from the previous films in the series. Grain starts to pour in and will only stop if Ryan pulls a lever that will cut off his legs. Even as blades and spikes fall down on Mitch and Anna, Ryan is reluctant to pull the lever but he finally does and his leg is sliced into pieces as the other two are let out. Logan confronts Eleanor about her obsession and she shows him his studio where she has made several Jigsaw weapons. Detective Hunt trailed them and takes pictures of the interaction among the torture devices. Hunt worked with Logan in Iraq where Logan was captured and tortured. Meanwhile, Mitch has to go through another test because he sold Jigsaw's nephew a motorcycle with brakes that don't work. He is diced up even as Anna tries to save him.

Halloran suspects Eleanor and they search her studio finding another dead body. They put out a search and Hunt confronts Logan about what he saw, but Logan explains that he thinks it's Halloran doing the killing. Eleanor takes Logan to the farm where she believes the murders took place. John Kramer drugs and chains up Anna and Bryan, who is missing a leg. He gives them an option with a gun with one bullet in it. Anna shoots at Bryan but the gun backfires and blows her face off and since the bullet contained the keys, their freedom was denied. Halloran trails Eleanor and Logan to the farmhouse and he confronts them but he is drugged and tied up in the same spot as Anna and Bryan. Logan is also tied up and they are wearing collars with laser cutters. Halloran betrays Logan but it turns out that Logan is the killer. The trap was playing out ten or so years ago as Kramer's first Jigsaw game and Logan was the first victim but Kramer had a change of heart. Jigsaw continues the series but it is a weaker installment with not as much a connection to the earlier series. The story and mystery were not nearly as interesting and the gore seemed less creative than before. This film feels like a cash grab more than an actual attempt to revive the franchise. 

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