Spiral: From the Book of Saw
starring Chris Rock, Max Minghella, Marisol Nichols, Samuel L. Jackson
written by Josh Stolberg & Peter Goldfinger
directed by Darren Lynn Bousman
by Walter Chaw It's so familiar it's fatiguing, another one of these projects that begins with passion and the best of intentions and ends up chewed to paste and regurgitated as this thin, masticated gruel. Is Darren Lynn Bousman's Spiral (a.k.a. Spiral: From the Book of Saw) the product of too many notes from too many people, or simply the wrong people? Or maybe there weren't enough voices in the room to challenge accepted wisdom, which tends to be unreliable more often than not. Spiral occupies a weird space where it's both desperate and cocksure. In moments of duress, one tends to revert to the familiar and the comfortable, so when things are obviously going south for Chris Rock, still-aspiring movie star, Chris Rock, legendary stand-up comic, tries to assert himself. The script is a mess, and the grafts meant to save the patient have been rejected. Spiral probably should've been killed at inception.