Reviewer: Was it you who asked about a “Saw” movie in the mood of Chris Rock?

Reviewer: Was it you who asked about a “Saw” movie in the mood of Chris Rock?

“Spiral – Saw’s New Chapter” tried to reinvent the saga behind the comedian’s back. It’s unlikely to be the case – but it won’t cheat fans.

Rock comedy has never had so much blood


Chris Rock’s voice and humor are unmistakable. The beginning of the new chapter in the “Saw” saga happens in an unpredictable and surprisingly good-natured manner. In a monologue in which he discusses whether “Forrest Gump” could be published at a time when the politically correct rules apply, the character of the comedian who is the protagonist leaves the doubt open: are we in a segment of the Rock humor or in a horror and suspense film?

The unlikely laugh that started “Spiral – Saw’s New Chapter” is as unexpected as it is welcome. No wonder: after all, Rock acts here as executive producer, but also as the main cast of the cast that brings the saga of terror, which already contains nine films, back to the cinemas.

In this chapter returns Darren Lynn Bousman, director of “Saw II”, “Saw III” and “Saw IV” handpicked by Rock who arrives accompanied by Samuel L. Jackson and Max Minghella (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) . The saga is reinterpreted to return to its origins without the complications and weight of a story spanning nine long chapters. The premiere will take place this Thursday, May 13th.

Recorded in 2019, after successive postponements, it finally hits theaters to accompany Zeke Banks, a seasoned detective who is hated by his peers. Unlike the previous films, the first third of the production focuses on the main character’s drama.

Banks is the son of Marcus Banks (Samuel L. Jackson), the revered police chief who is now retired. In his place was Angie Garza, his right-hand man trying to lead a squad full of conflict and testosterone.

The death of a police officer in one of the already famous death traps that put the victims in a dark dilemma is the starting point for the presentation of another dilemma: Zeke Banks, still a newcomer, accused a corrupt police officer of murdering a witness. A courageous act that many years later is viewed by colleagues as treason.

The cast features the star of “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Against everything and everyone, Banks has become a lonely detective who now intends to solve the macabre murder of a friend and colleague. Without the help of the police station, he welcomes William Shenck (Max Minghella), a newcomer to the police, as a partner. Together they recreate the old Hollywood cliché in a funny and unusual dynamic in a “Saw” movie, but that always sounds like something we’ve seen everywhere and in every movie.

Rock doesn’t hide from it – and guarantees that his idea was to bring humor to horror, alongside a tribute to classic rebel police movies – fires its comics in Catadupa. Once the drama begins, the character plunges into the dark past and the sudden realization that the murder represents the return of a murderer trying to repeat Jigsaw’s Machiavellian style.

One perceives the intention to relax the mood in order not to release the necessary tension that does not allow the audience to sit comfortably in their seat. But as soon as Rock’s creativity is trapped in the script, we’re more of it again.

While the intent is to focus on the characters, their story and their dynamics, the 90 minutes of film does not leave enough room for the actors to strengthen their personalities and relationships. “Spiral” falls into some kind of puzzle trap: you can choose to innovate in style, but you risk alienating all of the fans who form the basis of a nine-movie saga.

Rock and Minghella are partners in “Spiral”

It is necessary to invest in the traps, in the blood, in the dark dilemmas that the characters find themselves in – and that in turn put the audience in their place. There is of course a space reserved for the twist, which is already a classic in the “Saw” films. It all happens and it makes this new chapter something that has already been seen.

“Spiral” stays true to the basic principles of “Saw” and therefore will be a likely success for those who follow the saga. It will be more difficult to accomplish the other purpose that Rock and Bousman assumed of attracting new fans to the franchise and horror / suspense genre. In that sense, it’s a success.

Max Minghella’s subtle style makes William Shenck the most realistic and intriguing character in the cast without having enough time to make him a character we want to continue to follow in possible sequels.

Rock is rock and this is both a review and a compliment. Perhaps because we have remembered his voice and humorous tone, it becomes difficult to get involved with the character of Zeke Banks without waiting for a comic even in the moments of greatest tension.

Ambition didn’t pay off. “Spiral” is unlikely to be a way of attracting new audiences to the Saw universe or giving the saga a new direction. But if you want another dose of ruthless killers revealed at the last minute, bloody traps and little puzzles, maybe “Spiral” will be enough to satisfy your hunger until the ninth film comes out.

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