Jigsaw : Unnecessary. Unwanted. Unwarranted.
Lacking the stomach-churning appeal of its predecessors, failing to add anything new to John Kramer’s legacy, and further ruined by the amusing vibe that dilutes the effectiveness of its gruesome moments, the latest entry in the Saw series revives the infamous saga for a new generation of spectators but there is nothing about it that warrants its existence.
In the era of exhuming done-n-dusted franchises with sequels, prequels, remakes & reboots that nobody ever asked for, Jigsaw surfaces as a new chapter in the saga that was put out of its misery for good reasons over 7 years ago. The film does attempt to resurrect the infamous series that bathed in gruesome torture & violence during its first run but there is nothing about it that warrants its existence.
The 8th installment in the Saw franchise, the story of Jigsaw takes place 10 years after the demise of the eponymous character and follows the investigation of a new succession of murders, all bearing a striking resemblance to the modus operandi of John Kramer aka Jigsaw. With the possibility of more victims on the way, the detectives enlist the help of forensic pathologists to help them connect the dots.
Directed by The Spierig Brothers, Jigsaw packs all the ingredients that one associates with this franchise but it is somewhat toned down in brutality when compared to its predecessors. The movie is still very graphic & gory but the aim here is to establish a new storyline and pass the baton to new uninteresting characters in order to revive the saga & sustain its longevity. And so it isn’t just a sequel but also serves as a soft reboot.
The core element remains unchanged though. As before, we have a group of people who find themselves trapped in the game of death which they must play if they wish to survive. There are new mechanical traps but none of them are as intriguing as ones present in previous entries. And as expected, it comes with numerous twists & turns, some of which are genuinely surprising, some predictable & some nonsensical.
None of the characters exhibit an interesting arc, whether it’s the ones trying to survive the game or the ones investigating the case. Performances from most are terrible, with the only exception being Tobin Bell who returns to play his signature role with panache once again. Also returning to the fold is composer Charlie Clouser who provides an updated score that signifies the franchise’s heading in a new direction.
Overall, Jigsaw is an unnecessary, unwanted & unwarranted installment in a series that already has had a tad too many. Lacking the stomach-churning appeal of its predecessors when it comes to moments of torture, failing to bring anything new to the table when it comes to John Kramer’s legacy, and further ruined by the amusing vibe that dilutes the effectiveness of its gruesome scenes, this latest addition in the Saw series is targeted at a new generation of spectators and apart from a few references, it’s got nothing in store for those who stood by the saga through the thick & thin.