Saw III (2006)
★★ / ★★★★
This is slightly better than “Saw II” but nowhere as great as the original. In my opinion, in order for a sequel to be successful, it should be able to stand on its own. There’s a difference between making connections with its predecessors and relying on its predecessors to make a functional story. “Saw III” is the latter example, which is unfortunate because the traps are interesting and the deaths are gruesome (as what a “Saw” fan would expect). Tobin Bell as Jigsaw is creepy and cryptic as usual, but this time we get to truly see the dynamics between him and his partner Amanda (played by Shawnee Smith). However, what didn’t work for me was Angus Macfadyen’s character because his character is one-dimensional–a father who is grieving over the death of his only son. Whenever he is given the chance to “forgive”/save a life, he moves ever so slowly every single time. One time would be understandable, but if lives are at stake there should be a feeling of urgency despite one’s anger toward the person that he or she is supposed to save. In a nutshell, I found it difficult to identify with his plight. Another thing that started to bug me throughout watching the “Saw” franchise is Jigsaw’s philosophy of “teaching” his victims lessons by putting them through torture. If those victims happen to fail the challenges, Jigsaw doesn’t consider himself a murderer even though he’s the one who kidnapped those people and put their bodies in terrifying killing machines. In my opinion, he is the agent of harm because he leaves people worse off than they otherwise wouldn’t have experienced if it weren’t for Jigsaw’s actions despite the positive effects such actions might entail (if the victims were to survive). If one has taken a philosophy class, this idea is pretty basic and it really makes a dent on the film’s premise. Still, I thought this was one of the more coherent sequels of the franchise and I was quite entertained so I’m not going to persuade people to not see this movie.