That little extra puzzle piece
When it comes to the SAW movies, one thing for me that really matters is casting. I'm spending almost two hours with these people, watching them struggle to figure out how to piece the puzzle together. I find myself always rooting for them, and if they're annoying, or seem too cheesy and unrealistic, then I don't care and I tune out, which is why I disliked SAW VI and SAW VII. Jigsaw has a bit of both. The players in this game aren't the best, but they're O.K. While one woman is punished by Kramer for petty crimes, the other three have some--seriously--fucked up skeletons.
The other three become very forgettable very fast, and their lack of smarts left me saying, "you deserved that." I've come to the realization that no one will ever be as brilliant as Amanda or Hoffman, and that's why they reigned for so long.
The traps in Jigsaw are a little lackluster, and the gore is quite absent. It definitely has it's moments that left me cringing in my seat, but as a whole, it isn't nearly as hard to stomach as previous SAW films. Once the twist is revealed, the unimaginative devices make sense, but up until that point, you find yourself asking, "Why is this so amateur compared to everything else we've seen (in any SAW film ever)?" Jigsaw also throws a wrench in SAW's timeline. The twist brings up some continuity issues, making you question the lore and everything you've previously believed to be true. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but I hate feeling like something was written in last minute. After seeing Jigsaw, I want to rewatch SAW I-VII to see if I can find any hints or clues that make this reveal seem less like a Hail Mary, and more like an intention.
(That's not to say I wasn't mind blown or surprised by it, though! I actually really enjoyed it. I just want to feel assured that it was a sound decision by the writers. Take it from someone who invested years into Pretty Little Liars, only to be completely let down by what felt like a last minute, writers-room decision for the "big reveal." These things are important to me).
For me, being a fan of something means recognizing when a thing should no longer exist; not wanting to watch it get overdone terribly time and time again just to feed my addiction. Did Jigsaw have to be an--amazing--movie? No. It just had to be good enough to do the franchise justice.
And to me, a fan, it did just that.
Our special correspondent and writer, Tavia Lewis-Castagnozzi
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