Warning: Spoilers All Around
I've come to accept the Saw series for what it is. Mostly I have been a huge fan of all the movies, despite a few of them (SAW IV SAW IV SAW IV SAW IV SAW IV SAW IV) faltering in story and plot, and the timeline of the whole series being completely out of whack. The actual experience of watching each film unfold, however, has always been an orgasmic pleasure. OR-GAS-MIC. I love squirming in my seat at some of the more visceral traps, I love picking my jaw up off the floor at all the "twist" endings. I love that you can only truly understand and appreciate all the films if you are a real fan of the series - casual fans will be completely lost. I love that the filmmakers seemingly made the Saw franchise for the fans - positive that they would always come back for more.
II through VI because I like to be surprised at who shows up and who doesn't, even if it's just in a flashback. Had no idea that Cary Elwes was coming back as Dr. Gordon and was instantly intrigued when they flashbacked to the first Saw at the beginning and showed him crawling down the hall and cauterizing his sawed-off foot on a gas pipe. EW. So they showed him possibly surviving and then went on with the story. Hmm, how is this coming up later?
It's a good thing I was the only one in the theater for this viewing, because I completely flipped my shit at about four different parts in the movie. One thing that I was utterly and completely adamant about NOT wanting to see in this "final chapter" (yeah, we'll see) was the death of Jill Tuck. That was Flip My Shit #1 - the (prophetic) dream Jill had about Hoffman killing her. But it was just a dream. Phew. I've always liked her character in a possibly deep-seated lesbian way, but more so because she seemed so strong and understanding and loyal to Jigsaw.
Flip My Shit #2 was Dr. Gordon's appearance at the Jigsaw Survivor Group. I was strangely elated and pissed off at the same time. Excited 'cause, yeah, I'm a fan and it was bitchin' to finally find out for sure whether he was dead or alive. BUT. Soon-to-be-answered questions and expletives were running through my mind at his being in the movie. Where the fuck has he been this whole time??? I'm gonna love hearing this explanation, jerkweeds.
Flip My Shit #4. Dr. Gordon was yet another one of Jigsaw's helpers/apprentices. I had resigned myself to believing that he was deader than dogshit, but nope, there he is. Okay, okay, it kinda made sense that he helped because of all the inserting keys and shit into random body parts and only a skilled surgeon could do that. I'll buy that. What I don't completely buy is why he would agree to help Jigsaw, or why if he was alive and out and about this whole time, that no one ever mentioned him in any of the previous films - ESPECIALLY to think of him as a possible suspect, seeing as how Jigsaw's other previous victim Amanda turned out to be an apprentice as well. Or maybe he was in hiding the whole time and only talked to Jigsaw, I don't know.
Way too many new characters were introduced for a film that it is supposed to end the series. The main game being played is with Bobby Dagen (played Sean Patrick Flanery, one of the loves of my life), but he and all the people in his game and all the people in the car trap and those losers in the opening trap don't mean crap to me or to anyone else in the entire franchise and don't add anything to the overall story arc of Jigsaw. So why should I give a shit about them? In the aforementioned Jigsaw Survivor Group, I was expecting to see a lot of old faces. Okay, I see arm-chopping-off lady from Saw VI and that older lady that was saved, also from Saw VI, but who the frack are all these other people? Maybe there was conflict or whatever, but it would have been nice to see Daniel Matthews, or even Britt from Saw V if she actually survived slicing her arm in half.
"Eye-popping, heart-pounding 3D" my ass. The 3D was completely useless for this film. Maybe 2 split-seconds of blood or a hacksaw flying at me. EPIC FAIL.
The traps in Saw 3D/VII were insane. Like, totally elaborate and crazy, and yes, a little unbelievable. The opening throw-away trap (because the opening trap is usually never mentioned again so we don't care) was kinda cool because they were put out in the open where hundreds of people could watch whoever gets killed by the trap. The other games are alright, nothing really stand out until the end. The skin glued to the car seat, pulling a fish hook out of the stomach, and having to pull out your own teeth were pretty gruesome and squirm-inducing. At the end, when Bobby has failed to save his wife, this floor that she's been attached to sinks down, and whoosh! a huge contraption closes over her and flames shoot up. What the hell? She's in some oven or something, not being burned alive by the flames but more like having her skin melt from the extreme heat. Brutal.
I want, just for curiosity's sake, an in-depth and detailed chronology of every single GD thing that happened in every movie. It would really be amusing to see if anybody could figure out (or try to make up) the whens, hows, and whos of this clusterfuck of a movie franchise plot. How long and who did the stalking of all of these victims? Who designed and tested all those fucking traps? That alone should have taken weeks. How did he/she/they get all the equipment for the traps? Seriously, what order did all this happen in? I know it's not really vital to enjoying the movies or anything and it's a little nitpicky, but I can't help thinking this same thing through all the movies since about Saw III. The only concept of time we get from any film is how long each victim has to complete their trap. In between that, months could have gone by, and we wouldn't have a fucking clue. I just don't like my sense of time being screwed with like that.
Also: Just what the hell is the official title of this movie? I guess it's just supposed to be Saw 3D but my literary OCD has a problem with it not following the numerical titles of the other films. My theater listings called it Saw 3D: The Final Chapter. I call for showtimes and they call it Saw VII. SOMEBODY PICK A FUCKING TITLE. I'm calling it just plain old Saw VII, that way no one will be confused and my OCD will remain in check.