Friday, May 14, 2021

Spiral: From the Book of Saw - Movie Review

The Movie: Spiral: From the Book of Saw

The Director: Darren Lynn Bousman

The Cast: Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols, Morgan David Jones, Richard Zeppieri

The Story: A criminal mastermind unleashes a twisted form of justice in Spiral, the terrifying new chapter from the book of Saw.

The Review:
Okay, so here's the thing. I've been a fan of the Saw franchise since the first installment and not because it is any sort of high art of intricately detailed storytelling. This series is basically a torture porn festival filled with all the bad acting and too tired tropes you could ever want or dream of finding. Seriously, from an artistic standpoint there really isn't much to like about this movie or the franchise as a whole and yet I keep coming back for more basically just to see what kind of torture devices the creators are able to come up with.

Chris Rock is the star of this movie and from the beginning you get a very heavy dose of loud, angry Chris Rock and, to be honest, it was almost unbearable. Fortunately, he calmed down once the story, such as it is, gets rolling and he reverts to a mildly angry and not so loud Chris Rock which is still loud and angry by most people's standards but here we are so whatever. Samuel L Jackson plays Chris Rocks father in the movie and he is also loud and angry as expected and, as is typical for him, in a much more likeable way. Between the two actors there are a lot of easter eggs from their previous films so that's kind of fun to watch out for. For example, Chris Rock's character's name is Zeek. I'll let you figure out how that relates to Jackson's character.

Outside of those two big names being inserted into the movie and thus into the franchise as a whole, this is about as Saw of a movie as a saw movie can get. It firmly plants itself within the franchise's overall mythology and even the filmmaking techniques are pretty consistent with previous installments. There is nothing scary about this movie as far s it being in the horror genre, but it does have a big pile of blood and guts and dismembered body parts which I guess seeing those types of things and how they became that way can be scary enough as it is without adding in jump scares as well. The torture devices are fun, yes I called them fun, and fairly innovate considering how many there have been over the years so if that is your thing, you'll at least enjoy that part of the movie.

I don't think I really have much to say other than the movie is exactly what I expected and hoped it would be. I am laughing at all of my fellow critics who are complaining that it's not nuanced or innovative enough or something something whatever. Just remember that this is the Saw franchise and, if you are a fan like I am, you are most likely going to be satisfied with the result.

The Verdict:
Spiral: From the Book of Saw is exactly the movie I was expecting it to be and almost the movie I was hoping it would be. Fans of the franchise like me have more to enjoy while everyone will probably find a lot to not like which is fine. There are lots of other movies out there for you to enjoy.

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