We gave it a B
Forget the exposition. Saw doesn’t waste any time getting to its tense, simple concept. Two guys wake up in a dingy bathroom, each chained to a pipe. One of them has about eight hours to get loose and shoot the other, or his family dies. Oh, and there happen to be some rusty saws lying around. Holy setup!
EXTRAS Despite the film’s Sevenesque mood, writer-costar Leigh Whannell and director James Wan manage a hilarious back-and-forth on the audio commentary, simultaneously mocking their film (”It’s not a plot-driven movie at all”) and explaining away its limitations, such as the 18-day shooting schedule, which meant that rehearsal footage often ended up being used as final takes. (No wonder Danny Glover, who plays an unhinged cop, is so bad.) ”What’s the cheapest thing we can do?” says Whannell. ”It’s two guys chained up in one room — minimal locations, minimal cast.”