With the benefit of a seven year hiatus in the ever-productive Saw franchise, it would be realistic to expect something a little bit different from Jigsaw. There has been time to consider the possibilities and have writers work on the scripts. This is not just the quick cash-in that we got every year in the wake of the success of the low-budget thriller that started it all. However, these expectations would be foolish, because if there is anything that you can rely on in Hollywood, it's a dearth of originality.
Jigsaw is exactly the same as the last four Saw films. It follows the same plot structure and development and doesn't even bother trying to reboot a new narrative, as it ties directly back to Tobin Bell as the man himself. No effort has been made whatsoever to distinguish this film from its forebears or tell an interesting or original story.
New directors the Spierig Brothers have a solid pedigree in this genre but they either don't try or were not allowed to break away from the formula already established. The story follows the dual narratives of people trapped in one of Jigsaw's games and the police on the hunt for the killer. And as always, these stories converge in a twisty way that keeps you guessing till the end.
It's not a bad formula, but we've seen it all before. This might even be an old script that never got used that they've just dusted off. The only significant difference is that Jigsaw's ability to predict the actions of his subjects has reached supernatural proportions, which I don't see as a good thing.
To be fair, it does serve functionally as another Saw film. It's well put together and the acting (still general unknowns) are perfectly fine and arguably a step up from the last lot. But, as is always the case, they are mainly limited to being total arseholes to each other and screaming a lot. I know that generally it is arseholes that end up in these traps, but a bit of character variation would be nice.
The theme of the film, which is the only thing that really delineates it from the others, is confession. Jigsaw apparently now has a thing for people confessing to their sins, rather than telling them what they're being punished for. Does this lead anywhere? Not really, no.
Seriously though, why did this get made? 5/10