Strahm is dead, but the FBI are still closing in on Hoffman. Meanwhile, somebody else who is unappreciative of life finds themselves caught up in the game.The body of agent Peter Strahm has been disassembled back into flat-pack form, and it would appear that the world’s worst detective, Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), is now home and dry as Jigsaw’s (Tobin Bell) successor. Just to be safe though, Hoffman goes above and beyond to attempt to frame Strahm as Jigsaw’s little helper. However, he gets a shock when he finds out that Strahm’s partner, Lindsey Perez (Athena Karkanis) didn’t actually die in a previous trap – a potential problem as she doesn’t believe her late partner was capable of doing what he is being accused of. The net then begins to tighten around Hoffman when the FBI set to work on unscrambling a tape left at one of the previous murder scenes – the one thing that could solidly confirm his involvement. Elsewhere, the unethical CEO of a health insurance company finds himself being put to the test after gambling with other people’s lives as a career.
Okay, I’ll pre-warn you that I can feel a rant coming on here. Yes, one similar to that I embarked upon about The Hills Have Eyes. I watched Saw VI. It was inevitable that as I worked my way through the franchise, they were gradually going to get worse. Holy God though. I had severely underestimated how bad they could get.
I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time talking about performances here. The one performance I like was that by Costas Mandylor, and I spoke about that in my last review. This, of course, leaves the insurance CEO who I cared so little about that I don’t even know his name, nor the face of the bloke who played him, so I couldn’t really talk about him even if I’d have wanted to.
My main question is what was this film actually trying to do besides rob movie-goers of their money? I am somewhat bemused by the objectives this film set out to achieve. There was no longer the great Strahm/Hoffman face-off going on as they decided to kill of one half of that double act in the last film, so I wasn’t really that invested in the storyline anymore either. They then tried to be clever by bringing back a character who had previously been killed – or so we thought. I wasn’t that impressed by the return of agent Perez. To be honest, I think my reaction to the revelation was about on a par with Hoffman’s.
At this point, I am also so over this idea that the Jigsaw squad are out to teach people a lesson about how they should value life. I feel like once the FBI got brought in in film four, the writers should have fully broken away from the original concept. I mean, they attempted it, but the little subplots such as the Fatal Five in the last film, and then the insurance guy in this one makes it feel as though the filmmakers don’t really know what other direction they could take the story in. For me, watching the same thing for the sixth time with only a tiny bit of plot progression was boring. Plus, it feels like there is a reliance on putting an individual through the mill for some part of the film. It’s as if the writers know that the general storyline has swayed so far from what it once was, yet they’re still trying to market the franchise on what it used to be. They needed to choose one or the other if you ask me, because the storyline consisting of traps that were used as weapons against Jigsaw’s pursuers alongside the traps that supposedly taught life lessons did not work for me. Or, if they were that insistent on keeping those two aspects of the story alive, they should have at least made more of an effort to weave the two together.
On the whole, it is with a not-so heavy heart that I have to tell you that Saw VI is easily the worst film of the franchise so far. It cannot survive on just one character, and fails in trying to tell this part of the story which you could say has gotten too big for it to even know what it is about anymore. However, I’ve come this far – Saw 3D (or The Final Chapter) will still be watched. After all, it can’t be any morse than this… surely?