Following Jigsaw's grisly demise, Mark Hoffman is commended as a hero, but Agent Strahm is suspicious, and delves into Hoffman's past. Meanwhile, another group of people are put through a series of gruesome tests.
As a deadly battle rages over Jigsaw's brutal legacy, a group of Jigsaw survivors gathers to seek the support of self-help guru and fellow survivor Bobby Dagen, a man whose own dark secrets unleash a new wave of terror.
Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one suspect: John Kramer, the man known as Jigsaw, who has been dead for over 10 years.
Callum Keith Rennie
When Kimberly has a violent premonition of a highway pileup she blocks the freeway, keeping a few others meant to die, safe...Or are they? The survivors mysteriously start dying and it's up to Kimberly to stop it before she's next.
Jigsaw and his apprentice Amanda are dead. Now, upon the news of Detective Kerry's murder, two seasoned FBI profilers, Agent Strahm and Agent Perez, arrive in the terrified community to assist the veteran Detective Hoffman in sifting through Jigsaw's latest grisly remains and piecing together the puzzle. However, when SWAT Commander Rigg is abducted and thrust into a game, the last officer untouched by Jigsaw has but ninety minutes to overcome a series of demented traps and save an old friend or face the deadly consequences.Written by
Saw 'bore'; 'chore'; 'snore' – give it whatever pithy subtitle you like, it's exactly what it deserves.
Saw IV represents a sort of landmark for me. It was the first time I'd been genuinely nullified by a horror film that had, or seemed to have, so much going on. Within the runtime of Saw IV, characters will shoot about all over the place, encountering many-a situation that you'd feel would have some sort of effect on them: physical or otherwise. The film is full of is so much visceral content, with a lot of goo and blood getting thrown at the screen and splattering all over the place, while there are also many heinous, yet somewhat creative, traps and incidences being set up and executed. With all this going on, it's a shame that all you can do is sit there, stare and wait for it to end.
Saw IV might equally represent a landmark in the overall franchise, of the kind that nobody is even bothering anymore. If the first sequel was an intriguing and unpredictable, pseudo-Big Brother piece that built to what turned out to be an interesting denouement; while the third entry at least had Angus Macfadyen, whom looked as if he'd stumbled in off of another film, grounding the entry with his morally torn character and his shedding of a 'skin' (a jacket or a dressing-gown) as each task came and went, while the realisation of the situation settled in and he became a different person; then número quatro in the series is a gigantic mis-fire, a non-event of a picture.
Number four has nothing; and I mean absolutely nothing in the way of anything at all. It's the same stuff, and that statement isn't limited to the ideology that the people go in to see the film solely because of the traps, it's linked to the running around; the stern-looking faces; the dumb decisions people make and the sheer outlandishness of some of the executions of the antagonist's plans. Take some of the Saw series' more identifiable moments. If in the past, a character clicked on the TV and saw themselves on it by way of a CCTV monitor hidden in their house, then it might have worked somewhat and was quite eerie. Similallry, a puppet on a tricycle hiding in another person's wardrobe might've worked reasonably well as a visceral and effective jump as our own human eye struggles to identify just what the Hell it was in perfect parallel with our brain's absorbing the initial shock. In Saw IV; piggy mask clad women hiding in hospital corridors as people from prior entries, whose narratives have been done and dusted, are snatched does not make for good, interesting or even frightening viewing – but that's what we get.
But hey; who cares, right? You turn up, you get grossed out and then you leave again. You shrug and you wait for the next instalment, right? Wrong. Wrong attitude. I gave the Saw franchise the benefit of the doubt, I really did, at least for two of its sequels; but this is garbage, and everybody knows it. The film is a part of a growing tradition in recent large scale; lots-of-money-thrown-at-it; productions, of deconstructing the villain or showing them in a humbling light that tells us how they got to the point we all know them for. Following on from the third Star Wars episode; the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes/prequels; the recent Hannibal Lecter prequel; the third Saw entry and now this: a crass, delving into a past nobody cares about as Jigsaw (Bell) comes to be the mechanical, contraption expert we all know him for.
The film, for the most part, covers the journey of a police officer named Rigg (Bent) as he ventures from one trap involving others to another, all the time aiming to save fellow police officer Eric Matthews (Wahlberg), the guy that has been missing since the finale of number two. Like every film of this ilk, he has a time limit; ninety minutes, which doubles up as your bog-standard length for pieces of junk films such as this one. Rigg's adventure is peppered with dumb, would-be deeper meaning, pseudo-philosophical statements in which he is invited the 'see what I see' and 'feel what I feel' by a Jigsaw character pathetically put across only by way of cassette tape. His journey is uninspiring and episodic; it consists of him stumbling across an array of different people of various past bad-deeds; instances that could unfold in any order at all and we'd all still end up where we eventually end up. Some of the more sicker scenarios in the series worm their way into this segment, in which scalps; eyes and blood circulatory points in the body are the order of the day, and are targeted by these traps.
But everything is tired and dull. The hyper-kinetic editing and camera work becomes tiring, while the zooms and the cuts and the whip pans just completely draws you out of whatever small amount of interest you have invested in all this. Saw IV is a film with a labyrinth of a narrative, but then needs a character of high authority to come on screen at the end and explain everything to you. It's the sort of cynical, self-aware piece that, by this point, knows it's absolute garbage and just provides you with the gore and the blood as its story just 'unfolds' in the background: if you're following it, then great – if not, we don't care. By this point in the franchise; some suit-clad, money-counting producer of sorts, somewhere, seriously needed a slap. Whereas if you enjoyed it, and good God - there actually seem to be some out there that think it's some sort of a minor-masterpiece, then you can all stay as far away from me as possible.
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