DVD REVIEW: Saw 3 Unrated
Directed by Daren Bouseman
Starring Shawnee Smith, Tobin Bell, Behar Soomeki
The Most amazing thing about Saw 3 is its actually a pretty good movie. The premise of the Saw Movies seemed to me like one that would never really work beyond one film but I was surprised at how good Saw 2 was and even more surprised at how Saw 3 really seemd to bring it all together and make a really good Horror trilogy.
Saw 3 finds our favorite cancer patient Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) laid up and unable to have much of an active role in his games. Amanda (Shawnee Smith) has taken the reins and is running a new game while trying to keep jigsaw alive. This time the story revolves around a doctor brought in to care for Jigsaw and a man who's is put through a series of test to forgive his son's killer. Surprisingly Saw 3 manages to take events that happened in the first 2 films and weave them into this story in a way that certainly makes it seem like this story was planned out years ago and always meant to be a trilogy which we know to not be true. Credit has to be given to story creators Leigh Whannel and James Wan to have made all this work and tie together.
Director Darren Bouseman returns to the Saw franchise again after a successful turn directing Saw 2 and does a very coherent job of making sense of all of Saw 3's storylines. I have to say the only real story problem of the film is that it is so complicated and demands quite a bit from its audience. So much from the previous films is tied into the storyline of part 3 that for those who only watched the first 2 once it could be hard to remember all of it. Bouseman is a very competent director and I'm hoping he now moves on to something other than a Saw film next time.
Say what you will about the saw movies. I know its popular in many horror circles to rag on these films but they movies are really better than they deserve to be. The powers that be have kept the franchise, thus far, from falling into Freddy or Jason's often comical territory. Now that Leigh Whannel and James Wan have implied they they will have limited to no involvement in Saw 4 the next question is will the streak continue or will it become a joke next time out?
I liked Saw 3 but it is starting to feel played. About midway through it seems to drag a bit and the finally lacks the punch that the first 2 had. Shawnee Smiths performance kind of rides of the line of being good to being over the top. She does well but there's a couple times where I just wanted to slap her character for being so irritating. However its still better movie than it really desrves to be so its worth checking out.
The DVD contains behind the scenes documentaries on the props and effects of Saw 3 which are pretty interesting if a bit brief. There's a director's diary for Darren Bouseman that gives viewers some incite into the making of the film and his responsibilites as the helm. Again it's a bit too short to really get much out of it and it shows more comical horseplay between the actors and director than all that much else.
Finally there are not 1 but 3 commentaries on this movie. The best one features the producer, director and writer discussing the ins and outs of the story and directing. Its provides a lot of incite into the characters and the story although like most group commentaries, differentiating betweeen who's speaking takes some time. The Director several times talks about alternate cuts of the film and an original cut that was over 3 hours. I imagine we'll see a directors cut released in time for Halloween 2007 when Saw 4 hits theatres so if you hate double dipping you might want to wait out for that one.
Film: 3 1/2 out of 5 bloody axes
DVD Extras: 3 out of 5 bloody axes