Saw VI (2009)

Saw VI (2009)

The Game Comes Full Circle

With Agent Strahm dead, Detective Hoffman is able to continue to carry out Jigsaw’s master plan and see it through to the end with the assistance of Jigsaw’s wife, Jill. His next targets are the employees of a health insurance company who rejected Jigsaw’s claim and effectively condemned him to death. Hoffman must also cover his tracks as a new pair of FBI agents, who originally suspected Strahm, have switched their attention to him. Meanwhile, Jill also has an agenda of her own to carry out.

 

I’ll admit that I’m a fan of the Saw films although that’s now mainly down to watching how much more brutal and savage the traps can become as opposed to watching them for any sort of coherent story. Like the Friday the 13th series or even the pre-Daniel Craig James Bond films, Saw has now become such an established franchise that each instalment is as predictable as the last because of it’s reluctance to change the winning formula – lots of gruesome deaths strung together by one of the most ridiculously confused plots in movie history and lots of preachy dialogue from Jigsaw thrown in for good measure.

I’ve got to give credit to the writers for at least trying to make sense of everything and string a story together which links this film in with all of the others. I’ve kind of lost track of all of the characters, the plot twists, the reveals, the suggestions and absurd contrivances that each instalment in this series manages to grab hold of from the previous films and turn them into something relevant. This series is searching out every single loose end from the previous films and wrapping them up in a neat little package. Characters who seemed to be little more than extras in the earlier films are now some of the main players. It sounds cliché but the series really is putting together the pieces of a huge jigsaw puzzle piece-by-piece until the eventual final instalment will hopefully complete it.

Unfortunately this is also a double-edged sword in that there’s little left to shock us now – the wow factor has gone. There are few surprises left to spring upon the audience and when there are, it’s a case of been there, done that. The twists and revelations seem forced purely because a Saw film can’t end without a big twist and the token wrap-up flashback along to the strains of the series’ signature theme music. Above all, the thing is just so damned complicated now! Each film links in with past events from other films so, unless you’ve recently seen Saw II or Saw III, you won’t have a clue what they’re on about when the film references back to events or characters from earlier films.

The traps are as gory and inventive as ever before. In fact this time they seem to be a lot more sadistic because there’s more of an emotional connection. William faces moral choices about who to save and who to leave to die and is confronted with the victims before he has to make a decision. They have certainly raised the stakes when it comes to gore though and they keep pushing the boundaries as far as they can go. The first one looks tame compared to some of the traps in here. I’m sure everyone’s particular favourite is the shotgun merry-go-round but mine is the one before that where William is forced to choose between an older employee with a family or younger employee with his entire life ahead of him. The look of anger, disgust and pure fright from the unlucky victim right before they hang to their death is hilarious. The characters are a little more fleshed out this time around so the choices that William makes seem to have more impact than those of the previous films’ protagonists.

Despite the fact that he was killed off a couple of films earlier, Tobin Bell reprises his role as Jigsaw for use in lots of flashback scenes. Why did they kill him off if they were going to keep using him over and over again? It wouldn’t be a Saw film without him, that’s why. No one else would be able to replicate his chilling voice as he preaches his morality to his victims. I’m not particularly taken with Costas Mandylor as the Jigsaw-wannabe but the character serves a purpose. Jigsaw has become somewhat of anti-hero already with his moral preaching (and let’s face it, most of the people who’ve been put into his traps have deserved it in some way or another!) so Hoffman provides the pure evil character we’re all ready to hate on. Betsy Russell gets her role as Jigsaw’s wife fleshed out more in this sequel than the previous couple of films combined.

 

Saw VI is just more of the same. It’s so indistinguishable from the rest of the sequels that you’ll have a harder time trying to remember which films contained which traps than trying to piece together the story which seems to be made up on the spot from sequel to sequel. Satisfying for gore hounds, one of the better sequels for fans of the series and containing enough to keep even jaded viewers happy, Saw VI at least offers some promise of closure by cutting off loose ends and setting things up nicely for one last hurrah.

 

 ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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