Directed by: Kevin Greutert
Premise: Police Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) coordinates a game involving a health insurance executive (Peter Outerbridge) who advances profits by denying coverage to his clients. At the same time, Jigsaw’s ex-wife (Betsy Russell) carries out his final wishes.
What Works: The sixth Saw film is an improvement over the previous entry. This film is more focused and alternates between the various storylines very well. Saw VI takes some interesting turns as Hoffman is corrupted by the power over life and death that he holds over his subjects. The game for the insurance executive is among the best in the series, as the tasks of the game bear a direct relationship to his job and to the actions and attitudes that ensnared him within Jigsaw’s machinations. The continuity of the ongoing story has been very impressive throughout the series and the sixth installment keeps that up, adding intrigue to the story and texture to the characters by jumping around the timeline and revealing information that alters how we perceive scenes in previous films. The conclusion of Saw VI sets up the audience for a promising next chapter, should it come.
What Doesn’t: Saw VI suffers from some of the same problems as its predecessor; the ending of Saw IV revealed Hoffman as Jigsaw’s apprentice, and since that reveal the series has lacked some of the mystery of its earlier chapters. Also, although the test of the health insurance executive is well done, it seems anticlimactic if this were to be the final piece of Jigsaw’s master plan since the story is disconnected from the players of previous Saw films.
Bottom Line: Saw VI ranks towards the middle of the series. If it is ultimately a stepping stone to an even better finale to the series in the next entry, then the film may end up looking much better in retrospect.
Episode: #263 (November 1, 2009)