If youve been following the devilish puzzles of the dastardly Jigsaw in the Saw
series thus far, then youll know what to expect from this formulaic, yet agreeable third entry in the burgeoning franchise. Once again, were introduced to characters who initially appear to be random victims, who find themselves caught in ingenious, deadly traps. And once more, again, those traps come with difficult choices: death lies on one side, a fair bucketload of gore on the other.
This time though, Jigsaw lies on his deathbed, and his game involves a surgeon whose own life depends on keeping him alive. Naturally, there are a few added twists mixed in too, and while youll find no spoilers here, itll hardly be a revelation to declare that Saw III is reluctant to stray away from its familiar ground. This does have a significant downside, though. The original Saw had moments that were genuinely clever, that offset those other moments that were best squinted at behind your fingers. Saw III, though, reverses the balance, depending far more on schlock than it does clever plotting. It still works, and it works hard to tie itself into the previous two films, but the end result is still a diluted version of the first film.
With that in mind, Saw III is a worthwhile rental, and fans of both the series and genre are going to find moments to enjoy. But those looking for a repeat of the originals ingenuity wont be so keen, although it does leave enough promise to ensure that the already-announced Saw IV will be worth keeping an eye out for.--Simon Brew