Moral of this movie: “Bitch, I’ll handle it-” or alternatively “You know what, I’ll do it myself.”
Spiral was very fun and a solid chapter in the Book of Saw. Released May 13th, the movie follows police detective Zeke Banks, played by Chris Rock, as he navigates a police precinct full of officers who don’t trust him after he blew the whistle on his partner while also receiving “presents” from an assumed Jigsaw copycat. Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson play well together as a father/son duo and you truly believe their relationship on screen. The relationship between Chris Rock and Max Minghella is heartfelt and believable, making certain twists in the movie even more heartbreaking as they’re revealed.
The gore holds up and the traps are just as elaborate as ever, with exciting new ones. From a trap which required the victim balanced on a stool to choose between jumping off the stool and ripping his tongue out or getting hit by an oncoming subway train, to a glass grinder trap that featured glass bottles being ground up and flung out of a machine into the victim’s body, requiring them to rely on help from another person, the creativity and carnage from the original series shines through.
*Minor spoilers below*
The bit/catch that may throw viewers while watching this installment is that there were no opportunities for those caught in the traps to truly escape and survive. There was no need for them to confess; they were chosen and tested individually and were faced with taking care of the offending part of themselves or dying. For example, police Captain Angie Garza, whose crime was burying evidence and keeping justice from being served, had the option of suffocating under hot wax or severing her spinal cord to trigger the wax to stop falling. In an earlier trap in the movie, Detective Fitch was tasked with biting down on a machine grip that would power a pulley that pulled his fingers from his hand-which he had to do before the water in the tank he was placed in reached copper wires and electrocuted him. His crime was shooting an unarmed teen in a car for being rude to him. The riddles and puzzles are absolutely still a part of the game, but they were focused on guiding Banks more than allowing the captured an opportunity to confess and survive.
Overall, the movie is gory and bloody fun. Shit pops off immediately, and there are few lulls in action. On my first watch through, I swore I knew exactly who was running the games. Even with subsequent viewings, despite knowing what to look for, their true identity is well hidden.
If you liked this review and want to watch the movie for yourself! Spiral is available to rent on PVOD beginning June 1. For $19.99, you are able to rent Spiral on Amazon Prime, iTunes, YouTube, Google Play, and other platforms where you rent movies.