Spiral; Grade: C-
Spiral tells a story about a wannabe Jigsaw killer, who goes round and about murdering cops in the most torturous ways. These murders get under the skin of one cop in particular Detective Zeke (Chris Rock), a top tier cop that lacks trust amongst other cops and is not a fan favorite amongst cops as well. Detective Zeke takes on this case, along with an inexperience cop Detective William (Max Minghella) as they uncover the mystery of who this wannabe Jigsaw killer is and what is the moral purpose in murdering all these cops.
The Cinematography actually wasn't too bad, it genuinely looked like a real film and I honestly liked how some of traps were shot as well. They'll be a couple moments, in which the set pieces does remind me of a television set, mainly Law and Order SVU. The Score was... Meh. I didn't care for the soundtrack selection at all, didn't really fit in with the tone of this movie at all. I mean we have a cop that is dealing with some kind of anger and sorrow, yet I'm hearing music that doesn't correlate with that tone at all, it felt more suited for a Fast and Furious film.
The cast all in all... Ok at best. Chris Rock playing Detective Zeke was pretty bad, it's funny how we've encountered two actors portraying cops (Rami Malek in The Little Things), as both of them honestly make Ice T look like an Oscar caliber actor as a cop in Law and Order SVU. Chris Rock does this one facial expression several times in this film, in which I really can't make out as to what he's feeling? Is he in disgust? Is he being serious? Is he confused? Whatever it was: It was just unintentionally hilarious. Chris Rock trying to be angry and scream curse words was pretty ridiculous, I think it's more towards the bad dialogue in this film, but sheesh I mean this guy can't act in a role like this. I would say the highlight of his performance was his couple standup moments in the beginning, the Forrest Gump scene and how women get away with cheating scene, other than that sheesh this is not for Rock at all. Detective Zeke as a character was written fine, not really understanding why the police force hates this guy, other than their buddy gets in trouble which I won't spoil, but other than... Zeke was a cool dude, that took his job seriously, what's with all the hate?! Samuel L Jackson was briefly in this film as Zeke's dad as this was underwhelming. Felt like Jackson came in to cash on a pay check, he's in a few scenes and even those scenes were forgettable, although the finale was more towards what happens to the character than Jackson himself. I would've much preferred Reginald VelJohnson play this role, I think he's much better suited in this kind of performance.
So I've seen the first three Saw films before heading to Spiral. I liked the first two, the third one in which I watched recently... It was bad. I honestly was going to try and finish them all before heading into this, but since I was granted off work an hour early... I figure let's get it over with now, since this is technically a reboot, I don't really have much to be concern.
The opening sequence had a poorly done dubbed sequence and also a poorly editing choice as well. The editing of this film does have those Saw like editing skills you've encountered in the past, where it does give you a headache as it does the same thing here as well. I thought majority of the torture trap sequences were underwhelming, there's nothing new or interesting about it, feels like the same ole recycled nonsense you've seen in these films before. My main issue with this film is honestly tone... I felt this tried way too hard to be a guilty pleasure kind of film. It feels like their attempting to be funny, but there is times where it feels like they are trying to be serious, as the film maker just couldn't make up their mind as what it wants to be?! I also think the dialogue in this film is bad as well, like the over usage of curse words were annoying some, as they were just saying it just to say it and not have a moral purpose in why they're saying it. I don't care if people cuss at all, just saying it just to say it and wanting to get a laugh or reaction is rather lazy writing.
I will say that the story was surprisingly not terrible. I mean we're trying to figure out who this killer is and why he's killing all these cops, so it does play off as an ok mystery story. I will say the entire finale does perhaps save this entire film, from receiving a D grading from me. I feel it was the most exciting part of this film, I genuinely liked the twist and didn't see it coming, and there is also one cool neat thing as well involving a trap. Of course the previous two Saw films are better than this, however I appreciate the fact this wasn't just another pointless stupid torture porn kind of movie, as there is at least something worth of value. Doesn't really excel in providing something new to the table, however it's at least serviceable especially for horror fans.
Overall, Spiral was just alright. I would wait till rental to watch this. -Mitch Smietana