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Starring: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson

Director: David Hackl

Screenplay: Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan

Cinematography: David A. Armstong, Matthew Cooperkay

Original Score: Charlie Clouser

Running Time: 92 mins.

Let’s face it, you either love or hate the Saw franchise, it has become a yearly Halloween occasion for many a film-goer, except this year its release date was brought forward a week to avoid the juggernaut that is Quantum Of Solace. Up to now the four installments have had varying degrees of quality, Saw was a truly original film upon it’s release five years ago and it’s unfounded success made a icon of Tobin Bell’s Jigsaw, the Freddy Krueger of our times, and became the biggest cult film of 2004. A succession of sequels followed, furthering Jigsaw’s backstory and motives and drawing more and more characters into the story.

Cleverly even the characters who had the most minor of parts in number one, when they can’t even have thought the film would have spawned one sequel, let alone four and counting. If your reading this review I assume you would have seen part IV and known that Jigsaw’s mantle has passed to Hoffman (a minor detective whose role has increased film by film). Hoffman, as it turns out, is not the only one to carry on Jigsaw’s legacy and as ever the plot twists and turns and flashes back to extend scenes we have seen before to further, further the story. Unfortunately in going so far in to the ‘mythology’ and characters backgrounds the plot is becoming so contrived, and when you think that the end is nigh yet another proverbial spanner is thrown in to the works.

As ever the traps are ingenious and new levels of gore are scaled making some scenes almost unbearable to watch, the hands in the blades made me squirm…a lot! And where every other installment has built up to a satisfactory conclusion this on seems to simply go nowhere, don’t go in expecting a twist to rival any of the others because there isn’t one. In fact there isn’t anything revealed in the film that could not have been tied up in minutes within the whole of a much better plot, Aside from Hoffman’s ‘plot’ we learn what happened to Strahm, the FBI agent from number IV, and the other half of the plot is used simply as filler and a very lazy way of injecting more traps.

Though let’s be honest, all of this is preaching to the converted if you like Saw you will watch it if you don’t you won’t, and if you do you won’t understand ANY of whats going on, mediocre acting, lots of violence…it’s just lacking that killer twist.  

VERDICT

More of a fill-in part than a film as a whole, seriously lacking the twists of previous installments. I just can’t help feeling that the same could have been said with ten minutes, as opposed to a whole film. Talk about milking a franchise, this is simply a stepping stone to the inevitable Saw VI. Let’s hope they can conclude the series in a satisfying way, but then again if your a Saw fan your going to watch this regardless of how good, or poor, it is within the Saw canon.  

grade-d6

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