SPIRAL: FROM THE BOOK OF SAW (2021)
Has it really been over 3 years since we last saw our favorite morality teacher Jigsaw?? This new entry, SPIRAL: FROM THE BOOK OF SAW attempts to both reboot and sequelize the entries that came before...though it could be argued this is merely a spin-off in the same universe than a proper sequel. Chris Rock plays a cop who investigates grisly murders with the seemingly same M.O. as the old Jigsaw cases. Bodies turn up, a tape recorder is found explaining the ‘game’ and people scramble to try and figure out what is going on. First the good: Rock actually isn’t a terrible actor. Surprisingly, he does a decent job playing it straight though there were a couple times he ‘almost’ went too much into classic Rock territory but pulls himself back in. The main narrative concerns corrupt cops being targeted for past indiscretions and put in elaborate traps to be ‘reformed.’ As a hardcore fan of the series, I’ll even say a couple of the traps made me shudder… they upped the factor in this one (that glass). From a basic movie perspective, this feels more like ‘Seven’ than an outright Saw movie which is what they wanted to accomplish probably. They wanted to ditch the convoluted plots and timelines of the previous entries and try to attract a new audience that could follow a more linear storyline. In doing so, they forgot to include some nice call backs to previous events. Even the previous movie, Jigsaw (2017), had some call backs to original events that tied characters together. It would have been nice for this outing to be tied back to some of the OG characters and/or events to make it feel like a Saw film. The only things we get are a couple verbal callbacks to Jigsaw himself and a couple newspaper clippings. Take those out, and this could be just another thriller. I get they wanted to reboot the series and move past what came before. That being said, they still could have had the linear narrative they wanted but at least connect someone or something to established lore. Judging from a police thriller, this one is ok at best. Judging from a Saw perspective, this one isn’t as sharp as it needed to be. Not sure where you can go from this one. We have a couple decent surprises but overall a bit weak. See it if you're a series fan and decide for yourself.
SLASH SCENE: Glass Trap