LET me start off by saying that this is likely to be the least controversial review I am likely ever going to write on this or any other platform, but the Hollywood machine needs to stop with these reboots.
The latest money-grabbing attempt at nostalgia, “Spiral-From The Book of Saw”, is terrible, and Chris Rock has lost it.
It has taken me decades of life experience, and close to a thousand movies, to erase the disaster that is “Pootie Tang” from my memory.
It was also out of respect that I decided to watch and not review his most recent attempt at a stand-up special “Tamborine”.
However, due to his terrible performance here, and the fact that he is one of the reason we have yet another reboot that no one asked of, this is where I draw the line.
So, I am going to say what no one is brave enough to say out loud, but probably thinks in the confines of their own homes, but Chris Rock has probably reached his ‘old Yeller’ years.
Someone needs to take him to the pastures and put him out of his misery.
‘Spiral: From The Book of Saw’ follows Detective Ezekiel ‘Zeke’ Banks (Rock) who gets taunted by a serial killer, who goes on a rampage killing cops.
What separates this particular killer is the similarities of his murders to the now-deceased jigsaw killer, and the fact that all his victims are alleged to be corrupt cops.
The two embark on a cat-and-mouse game, full of gory deaths and elaborate torture devices.
Now, the purists of you will probably call into question my knowledge and grasp of the Saw franchise, and that is a valid argument.
My Saw trivia is very limited at best, and I did not revisit any of the previous saw films before watching the reboot.
However, I sincerely doubt that any amount of saw knowledge, whether limited or adequate, could have saved this movie from mediocrity.
The torture devices and deaths, both of which are embedded in the franchise’s identity, are lazy and not really a reflection of the times or passage of it.
Lacking is the gore and awe factor.
While the twists and turns are plausible at best, the big killer reveal is totally predictable.
The plot is pedestrian at best misses a huge opportunity to be relevant by playing up the race factor which is a big deal in the United States right now.
The world is watching too.
While there are references is here and there, corruption and race are sacrificed for attempts to play up the gore factor.
There are no performances that stand out, not for the right reasons anyway, and this speaks volumes for a cast that includes Rock, Samuel L Jackson (Marcus Banks) and Marisol Nichols (Cpt Angie Garza).
This is not to say that the film does not have promise.
Right off the top of my head, writers Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger could have given the film’s protagonist Banks (Rock) more depth.
While we are introduced to Banks as an ostracized police detective having testified against another cop, and our hero strained from his father Marcus Banks (Jackson).
A little more detail on either one could have helped the audience identify and sympathize with him, but that doesn’t happen.
Instead, all we have is Rock’s dismal performance, which is devoid of both emotion and believability.
Also, CGI has grown in leaps and bounds since the Saw movies, and I think we deserved better in the gore element.
Here’s to a better effort in the next installment.