Imagine a serial killer in Uganda, killing corrupt cops. Hey, please stop clapping.
Anyway, it wouldn’t be hard for a serial killer to find such corrupt cops.
Since Ugandan cops would probably ask the killer for a bribe to spare their lives so they could collect a few more bribes which they’d offer to split with the killer!
It could be a fifty-fifty split, they’d say: with the killer keeping the hyphen.
Not because the Ugandan cop is generous, but because the cop would probably think the hyphen is a minus sign.
And so, he’d be leaving the killer with nothing!
Sounds like rubbish?
Well, you’re right. Because that is exactly what “Spiral: From the Book of Saw” is.
This reboot of the “Saw” series, which originally started in 2004, is something which should’ve been left unmade.
If you think I’m being unfair, then let’s get into the story. (And, please, excuse the bleeps protecting you from any unsavory language.)
“Spiral” starts with Detective Marv Bozwick, also known as Boz (Dan Petronijevic) pursing a purse thief in a crowded place.
As he gives chase, Boz follows the criminal into a tunnel and is instantly chloroformed.
When Boz comes to, he finds himself in a contraption where he is hanging by his tongue on a subway track.
Yikes, by his tongue?
However that’s not all; a figure in a pig costume shows up on a screen with the words, via recorded message, saying, “I want to play a game”.
Sure, I agree, this sounds like a trap which was purpose-built for Uganda Police spokesman Fred Enanga.
Although, I also think the inherent horror of this scene would be nullified by Enanga’s ability to talk his way out of trouble, only to talk his way back into trouble again!
Back to the movie, the person in the pig costume tells Boz that the train will be there in two minutes and will smash him to mush.
However Boz can save himself by pulling himself free from the trap, and have his tongue severed in the process, to save his life.
But if he lives, as the killer intends, he’ll lose his tongue and the ability to be a “cunning-linguist”.
Sadly, it ends it in tears for Boz as the subway train driver sees ketchup-red splattered across the front of his train when the train smashes into Boz.
Detective Zeke Banks (Chris Rock) and his new rookie partner William Schenk (Max Minghella) are on the case and soon realize there’s a Jigsaw copycat in their midst.
Jigsaw is the name of the serial killer from the original “Saw” series.
Zeke, in true Chris Rock idiom, is good with his mouth as he uses it to dispense a few witty comments here and there.
Still, nobody in the department likes him.
“Listen up. I know some of you guys think I’m a rat. Some of you think I’m a snitch. Some of you are mad I Bleeped your mother,” he says after getting the case from Capt. Angie Garza (Marisol Nichols; hot, hot).
We are informed that some internal affairs matter led to the departmental animosity towards Zeke.
But, personally, I suspect they all just found Marty, the zebra from the animated comedy Madagascar, very annoying.
Anyway, the killer starts picking off Zeke’s corrupt fellow officers, one by one, using devices so basic that calling them traps is like mistaking Kevin Hart for The Rock; despite what Hart’s wife probably lied to him about his erection.
“Spiral” would’ve worked as a father/son buddy cop movie consisting of three stars: Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson (who plays his father) and Jackson’s compulsive use of the word motherBleeper.
Alas, it avoided this route.
Also, the tonality of the movie would’ve been greatly enhanced if Rock was allowed to just be funny, instead of laughable.
His vast emporium of jokes, japes and jests would’ve compensated for Jackson’s reduction to being a mere kindergarten Shaft.
At the end of the movie, however, the stage was set for a sequel. But a second ‘coming’ of this unorgasmic movie would be obviously misconceived.