Special Agent Strahm is dead, and Detective Hoffman has emerged as the unchallenged successor to Jigsaw’s legacy. However, when the FBI draws closer to Hoffman, he is forced to set a game into motion, and Jigsaw’s grand scheme is finally understood.
series gains a commendable hint of social conscience with this sixth entry in the gleefully gruesome franchise. That's not to say that the creators have abandoned the films' main focus--dealing out hideous punishments for wrongdoers, courtesy its antihero, John Kramer/Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), who remains very dead as of this film--but screenwriters Marcus Dunston and Patrick Melton (who have penned every Saw
pic since IV
) deserve a note of recognition for pointing Jigsaw's moral fury at the insurance industry, which is personified by key victim Peter Outerbridge's oily exec. His decision to deny Kramer an experimental cancer treatment (all told in flashback) lands him and a handful of additional lost souls (all connected, of course) in yet another Rube Goldbergian chamber of horrors overseen by Jigsaw's acolyte, Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor). The improbability of the infernal machines continues to reach hysterical levels here, though the payoffs remain exceptionally gross, especially in the opener, which plays on the Shakespearean "pound of flesh" riff with spectacularly nauseating results. Aside from the insurance angle, there's little to differentiate Saw VI
from its predecessors, and precious less to convince the nonfaithful that the series isn't spinning its wheels by this point--and based on the film's tepid opening-weekend box office, audiences may agree--but for Saw
die-hards, there's much bloody business on hand here, and best of all, the promise of another sequel. --Paul Gaita