After an intense afternoon of running errands, I thought I would watch a movie before starting on my paper revisions. Saw is a pretty mediocre picture, and I'm shocked that they were able to get Danny Glover to play a third banana cop role in a ripoff of Se7en. The premise has promise; two men wake up in an abandoned bathroom, chained to pipes: Larry, a doctor, and Adam, a slacker type. Clues left by their captor indicate that Larry must kill Adam by a preset time or Larry's wife and daughter will be killed.
There is the potential for a lot of psychological drama here, and the movie taps little of it. The two men spend most of their time doing nothing and letting time slip away. I couldn't help but think that the most braindead character on Oz would have been able to improvise some solution from the raw materials in the room, or that it would be easier to escape the chain by breaking the bones in your foot than by amputating the whole thing as we know at least one character will eventually do (the pair are generously provided with saws). One of the men keeps a secret for most of the film, and I'm not sure why he does so . . . it doesn't help him, and only breeds distrust later when the truth comes out. And the cops are almost comically terrible, doing everything from potentially blowing a serial killer case by entering without a warrant to failing to secure a suspect repeatedly. If you are a horror fan, it might be worth watching, but do so in an environment where MST3K-type shouting at the screen is accepted, as there is plenty to shout about.