I have watched all the Saw movies. I like them a lot, and this was no exception. I think it is a great Saw movie, and a fitting end to it all. (If indeed the series is truly over - you just know Hollywood is going to resurrect it someday, somehow...)
* WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! *
** I MEAN IT! MAJOR SPOILERS COMING UP! **
*** WHAT, YOU'RE STILL HERE? OKAY, DON'T SAY I DIDN'T WARN YA! ***
There were some things I did and didn't like about the movie.
1. I didn't like the "torture porn" aspect. Now I realize that this is part of all the Saw movies, but it seemed a lot more obvious here. What I mean is that it seemed like there were a lot of women tortured in this movie, and all of them were really hot. Now, that may be somebody's fetish, but I'm just not into that sort of thing, okay? Torture and murder is part of the Saw movies, but I don't like it when it seems like it's more about the scene than the story. Maybe I'm wrong here, but I don't remember having this reaction from the other 6 Saw movies. Yeah, they all had their "hot babe being tortured" moments, but just seems like this one was much worse. (Or better, depending on your view.) And one of the hot babes got killed TWICE, just for good measure.
2. I didn't like it that Bobby Dagen failed at the end. Yeah, I know he was a slimeball who got what was coming to him, but toward the end, I kind of empathized with him. I actually wanted him to succeed. Maybe that's not what the writers were going for, but that's what happened with me. I was sad when he fell.
3. I also didn't like when the woman Bobby loved got roasted. She didn't actually deserve to die. The others, maybe... But her only crime was being dumb. I mean, come on Jigsaw, what's your problem? Normally, Mr. Jig follows a moral code. I guess in Bobby's case he made an exception. Anyway, that was pretty hard to watch.
4. No Amanda. Yeah, I know she's toast at this point. But Jigsaw himself lives on in flashbacks. I would have liked to have seen Shawnee Smith here. But alas, it was not to be (sigh).
5. The killing off of Jill Tuck. Was that really necessary? She was a somewhat likeable protagonist. But I guess she was cursed by being a hottie. Yeah, she was an older hottie, but a hottie nonetheless. And that's pretty much a death sentence in any Saw movie. Kind of like those who do drugs or have sex in a Jason movie. If you are female, you don't have to actually do anything bad to die in a Saw movie; you just have to look hot. Oh well, I liked her and was disappointed to see her go. (Also, would she have died instantly like she did at the end? Having a jaw blown off would hurt A LOT, but wouldn't necessarily kill you outright. I shudder to think if it had shown her still squirming there afterward...)
6. And speaking of Jill Tuck, did anyone else notice that in the "suspended above the rails scene" it looked like she had one super hairy armpit? Maybe it was just the shadowing in the scene, but it sure looked like it. (This is where the pause button on your DVD player comes in handy.) Anyway, Jill and her hairy armpits... Actually, maybe I kinda liked that part.
1. The return of Dr. Gordon. Yeah, he's a little chubbier. (Hey, it's been over 10 years since the first movie people! It's hard to get exercise when you're an amputee.) But I can go with it. Cary Elwes is a great actor. I always thought Dr. Gordon had died, since I thought I remembered seeing a footless corpse out in the hallway in Saw 2 or 3... but apparently he's alive and well. I liked that. Some people say he was underutilized, but I think he was used just right.
2. The appearance of Tobin Bell. Yeah, he only had a couple of parts in the movie, but considering the guy has survived I-don't-know-how-many movies now on nothing but flashbacks, it's still good to see him. And I'm always impressed how they can fit yet another Jigsaw flashback in, and squeeze so much out of it.
3. The guy who plays Bobby Dagen is Sean Patrick Flannery, from "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles". Now I always thought that show sucked. I don't know if that was Flannery's fault or not (probably not), but it didn't hurt my feelings at all to see bad things happen to Young Indy. If he had worn the hat, I probably would have enjoyed it even more.
4. Similar to "Alcoholics Anonymous", we now have the "Jigsaw Survivor Group". This was kind of hilarious to me. It's a laughable concept really, that one killer or a small group of killers could do enough damage to society to spawn a support group for the survivors. But it was all in good fun. And I really liked the idea, for these movies. I thought it was done well.
5. The skewering of the "Self Help" or "Life Coach" movement. I get really sick of all the Gurus on TV, going on Oprah, hawking their books, and promising to change your life for the better or whatever. That's all a bunch of b.s., and only idiots fall for that kind of junk. It was cool to see the writers of Saw 7 have fun with that. Unfortunately, there are far too many real-life "Bobby Dagens" to count...
6. Nice cringeworthy traps, as always... Seems like these were some of the worst. I could hardly watch some of it, even knowing it was fake. My mind might know it is fake, but it is still super hard to watch. So your higher-functioning brain knows it is fake, but you still can't stop yourself from reacting emotionally to it. That's the stroke of good filmaking right there.
7. Mark Hoffman is now more of a killer than a true acolyte. This fits his character more anyway, I think. I never liked that guy as an acolyte. I just couldn't see him filling the role of Jigsaw. He just doesn't look the part. He looks stupid. More like a linebacker than the intelligent-yet-twisted philosopher that it takes to be Jigsaw.
8. S.U.R.V.I.V.E. It took a repeat viewing for me to realize that in the title of Dagen's book, each letter stands for something. And then throughout Dagen's traps, the messages he finds from Jigsaw spell out the chapter headings of his book. This is a really nice touch that I didn't catch the first time around.
9. What actually happened to Bobby Dagen? The movie doesn't really show. Which to me, implies that he is still alive. I like this. I mean, it shows Hoffman blow up his Jigsaw lab, but apparently he wasn't even running Bobby Dagen's traps. So Dagen still lives. So in a way, he survived his ordeal. Even if his girlfriend did get roasted with extra barbeque sauce.
10. Who is actually running the traps? Must be Dr. Gordon, right? The movie makes you think it was Hoffman. But then toward the end, the truth comes out. It makes sense because throughout the movie, Hoffman is more obsessed with getting revenge on Jill than running traps.
11. Who were the 2 acolytes with Dr. Gordon at the end? I liked this, because it shows the "legacy" of Jigsaw living on, with more acolytes. Is it really the end? No way!
12. I own the 3D Blu-Ray of this movie, and I like the 3D this has. No, it isn't "in your face", but it is still quite nice. The blood and guts fly at you sometimes. Some scenes really stand out. Also, for the 3D they had to cut down on all the quick cuts and jittery camera movements. I REALLY LIKE THIS. I'm pretty sick of all the new movie action sequences that are filmed "Transformers-style", where everything jumps and shakes around so much you can't tell what is going on. For this alone, I am thankful for the 3D version.
Saw 7 is not the greatest movie ever, but I liked it. I thought it was a fitting end to the series, at least for now. If there are no more Saw movies, then this is a good end. I am happy it is in my 3D movie collection.