Chris Rock stars as Detective Zeke Banks in Spiral: From the Book of Saw / Picture Credit: Lionsgate Films
Chris Rock stars as Detective Zeke Banks in Spiral: From the Book of Saw / Picture Credit: Lionsgate Films

Earlier this month (May 2021), fans of the Saw movie franchise finally got the opportunity to see the series rebooted completely, when Spiral: From the Book of Saw hit the big screen.

After taking a look back at all eight of the previous Saw instalments, we just had to get back to cinema as soon as we could to see what Darren Lynn Bousman was going to do with an entirely new narrative, fresh cast and unique serial killer.

We start things off with a more action-led opening than those we have seen in the Saw series so far. As a hooded individual steals purses from unsuspecting women at a carnival, an off-duty police officer chases them down, even climbing a ladder down into the sewers to try and bring them to justice.

Once down there however, he’s attacked by a figure wearing a pig mask and, upon waking up, finds himself caught in a trap reminiscent of those that were used by the now-deceased Jigsaw Killer, John Kramer (Tobin Bell). When a television lights up and a message begins to play however, we know right away that this is a completely different person pulling the strings; somebody who’s using voice manipulation software to disguise their voice and almost sounds like they couldn’t hurt a fly.

Their message is clear however. They’re here to rid the city of dirty cops by either teaching them a lesson they will never forget, or snuffing out their life entirely. The choice to live or die? That’s up to them.

Chris Rock steps into the shoes of the film’s lead character, Detective Zeke Banks. He’s instantly a character you want to root for; he goes about his business unconventionally, smashing down the boundaries set by the police system in order to bring criminals to justice.

After ‘ratting’ on a dirty cop many years prior however, the lack of respect for him in the station is as clear as day. Captain Angie Garza - played expertly by Marisol Nichols in one of her most commanding roles to-date - seems to be the only one who actually likes Zeke, but even she cannot let his behaviour go without action.

So, in an attempt to bring Zeke back into the fold, she pairs him up with a new partner, Detective William Schenk. Max Minghella is the up-and-coming fresh meat on the force and shares values with Zeke that see the pair actually form a rather healthy relationship, despite their rocky and insult-laden introduction. 

The two take the lead on the case of the murdered detective in the subway, which moves them into dangerous territory as more officers are killed and the walls begin to close in for anybody who may have allowed criminality to run rife throughout the city.

Samuel L. Jackson stars in the horror flick
Samuel L. Jackson stars in the horror flick

We can’t talk about the cast without of course mentioning another one of the big Hollywood names involved: Samuel L. Jackson. Taking on the role of famed former police chief Marcus Banks, he shines as we watch his strained relationship with his son turn into the central focus of a major cliffhanger. Saying too much more would spoil that classic Saw experience.

What we can talk about is the movie as a whole. It’ss a mixture of police procedural action and that slick Saw horror we’ve come to expect from the franchise. Bousman’s presence is felt from beginning to end; he’s really brought the magic back to a franchise which lost a bit of steam with the release of Saw 3D.

With this, a true reboot of the Book of Saw, we wouldn’t be shocked - and are hopeful to see - a whole new string of sequels hitting the big screen in the future.

Spiral: From the Book of Saw is in cinemas across the UK now.

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