The TSL’s Grindhouse: Spiral: From the Book of Saw (dir by Darren Lynn Bousman)


I can imagine the pitch sessions for Spiral: From The Book Saw.

“What do people really like the Saw movies?”

“The Jigsaw Killer!”

“Right!  So let’s make a Saw movie without the Jigsaw Killer.  What else do people like about the Saw movies?”

“The gory but clever torture scenes!”

“Right!  So, let’s only have a few torture scenes that are gory but not particularly clever.  What else would make this a good Saw film?”

“A star in the leading role!”

“Right!  So, let’s cast a comedian who is a notoriously terrible actor.”

“YAY!”

Anyway, Spiral features Chris Rock as a hard-boiled homicide detective who spends almost the entire movie with a scowl on his face.  He does make a few jokes but they’re all of the “This is a New Jack city!” variety.  Rock is living in the shadow of his wildly popular police chief father, played by Samuel L. Jackson.  Rock is a tough cop who does things HIS WAY!  And he can’t trust anyone else on the force because he’s just so honest.

Spiral does not feature Tobin Bell, though we do briefly see a picture of him when someone mentions that the latest round of murders seem like they may have been committed by a Jigsaw copycat.  The thing with copycats is who cares?  They can’t even come up with an original idea.  They have to copy another killer.  I mean, there’s a lot of movies about killers in the woods but people remain loyal to Jason Voorhees because he was the original.  Just like with Halloween. Every reboot, except for the third one, has featured Michael because without Michael, who cares?  You can lose everyone else but Michael, and how people react specifically to Michal, is what the franchise revolves around.  So, with Saw, if Jigsaw is not there …. WHO CARES!?

Listen, I don’t even like the Saw movies but even I was annoyed by this film’s lack of Jigsaw.

Anyway, it’s a dumb movie.  It tries for a bit of political relevancy by making almost all of the victims crooked cops but it’s like Defund Copycat Serial Killers, not the police.  Chris Rock and his new partner are investigating all the murders and Rock tries so hard to give a convincing performance that it becomes painful to watch.  Seriously, if you’re good at comedy, do comedy.  Be proud of it because a lot of people are not good at comedy.  If playing a dramatic character is that much of a struggle for you, don’t do it.  That’s why we’ve got actors like …. uhmmm, that guy who was in that really dramatic movie, whatever it was called.  It was really good and dramatic.  He would have been good for the lead in Spiral.  Actually, Ethan Hawke would have been good as the lead too.  Or maybe Denzel Washington.  But good luck getting them to agree to be in a Saw movie that doesn’t feature Tobin Bell.

Anyway, Spiral was pretty disappointing.  Chris Rock is funny and likable in comedies so maybe that’s what he should stick with for now.  Leave the dramatic crime stuff to the cast of the latest Dick Wolf show, y’know?  And if there is another Saw movie, Jigsaw better come back to life because otherwise, what’s the point?

One response to “The TSL’s Grindhouse: Spiral: From the Book of Saw (dir by Darren Lynn Bousman)

  1. Pingback: Lisa Marie’s Week In Review — 10/25/21 — 10/31/21 | Through the Shattered Lens

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