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MicroReview: Jigsaw (2017)

Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one suspect: John Kramer, the man known as Jigsaw, who has been dead for over 10 years.


Obviously, we, the viewers, know that Jigsaw died in the third film, yet writers Josh Stolberg (Piranha 3D) and Pete Goldfinger (Sorority Row) have managed to lever another way of getting Tobin Bell (The Quick and the Dead) to reprise his role, for without him the Saw franchise is just plotless (or ridiculously convoluted and contrived, you choose) torture porn. It's hard to review this without saying that it's much of the same as we came to find with the previous countless sequels to 2004's Saw, except it is better than some of the latter sequels. Well, certainly anything past Saw III.

Directed by Dead Celluloid favorites, The Spierig Brothers (Undead), there's a certain joyful style to the film that was lacking the farther the sequels got from the series beginnings. It's less mean, if that makes sense for a film about people in death traps.

The gore is less of the centerpiece of the film, and the plot (although still over the top, silly, and introducing even more new apprentices) is, at least, largely coherent. The acting is better than some of the latter films with less scenery chewing. Overall, if you enjoyed the franchise, there is little to dislike here, and if you've seen none of the films before hand, you can probably still watch and enjoy this, the umpteenth sequel, without getting lost.

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