spiral: from the book of saw

★★★

director: Darren Lynn Bousman (saw ii, death of me)

starring: chris rock, max minghella, marisol nichols and samuel l. jackson

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

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

Gotta admit off the bat that my knowledge of the Saw movies is sketchy at best. As a teenager I saw some of the original films peeking through my fingers with my hands over my eyes but that's about it. So I come to Spiral: From the Book of Saw with a clean slate, without that much nostalgia for the films that have gone before. Spiral: From the Book of Saw is an entertaining enough detective tale punctuated with horrific torture scenes, but has some character and plot lines that need to be ironed out. 

 

Working in the shadow of his father, an esteemed police veteran (Samuel L. Jackson), brash Detective Ezekiel "Zeke" Banks (Chris Rock) and his rookie partner (Max Minghella) take charge of a grisly investigation into murders that are eerily reminiscent of the city's gruesome past. Unwittingly entrapped in a deepening mystery, Zeke finds himself at the center of the killer's morbid game.

 

Narratively Spiral: From the Book of Saw draws you into its murder mystery from the get go and for someone who has only a vague knowledge of the films that go before they do a superb job at bringing you up to speed in a succinct manner. But it’s as the mystery unfolds that narrativelySpiral slightly unravels. You begin to question the motivations of some of the characters which leads you to conclude who the perpetrator of the horrific crimes really is. 

 

When I first saw the trailer for Spiral: From the Book of Saw and heard Chris Rock, all I could hear was Marty the zebra from the Madagascar animated films and I thought this would distract me from getting fully engrossed in the film. But it really didn’t; Chris Rock not only has some decent acting chops but has charisma to burn. 

 

Spiral: From the Book of Saw is an entertaining enough detective tale punctuated with horrific torture scenes, but has some character and plot lines that needed to be ironed out.

★★★

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