And we continue…
If you look at my Letterboxd diary, you will see that it continued with quite a gap before I decided to jump back into the franchise. For obvious reasons if you’ve read the review for 2 and 3. However, I committed to this so why not? It can’t really get worse than how odd the story got for previous franchises I’ve covered. After Saw III though, where could it go? Thats the main question I have.
Lets check it out!
Saw IV (2007)
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman
Cast: Tobin Bell, Scott Patterson, Costas Mandylor, Betsy Russell, Lyriq Bent, Athena Karkanis
Despite Jigsaw’s death, and in order to save the lives of two of his colleagues, Lieutenant Rigg is forced to take part in a new game, which promises to test him to the limit. – IMDB
Saw III ended with the death of our villain here. In fact, the entire ending is the type of dumb BS ending that I can’t stand so you can see how I wasn’t eager to jump back into the franchise.
Its getting increasingly hard to hash out these reviews. Saw feels like with each entry that they are very similar in concept. I do get that its the mentality of Jigsaw. In the fourth one, it seems like he isn’t only trying to find someone to pick up his task and his big elaborate plans but we see a much deeper look into how Jigsaw became who he was as the FBI sent it, Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson) and Agent Perez (Athena Karkanis) follow the clues to try to track down Agent Riggs who has been sent on his own mission to save Eric Matthews who turns out to be alive. This angle is a good one to be fair. Jigsaw was a mystery and its nice to see John Kramer, the human version before he became this crazy killer. The way this one ends, its pretty certain that there will be a follow-up as we already know there is, unlike how the third ended and you wondered whether it was just a trilogy and meant to end there.
Saw IV dropped down a little the disgusting scenes. It still had some pretty cruel traps however, this was a test for Lieutenant Riggs (played by Lyriq Bent) who we’ve seen in the last two movies and it was his test. At the same time, it makes us wonder who is now behind this mess since Jigsaw is pretty much dead or else you know, the events of the ending of the last one wouldn’t have happened. Regardless, the test did make sense for Riggs and particularly for his parts, and the whole finding Matthews and that really does come together. Even who has now picked up the reigns after Jigsaw is pretty obvious if you look at the clues that the movie puts out in front of you. Its pretty in your face although it does have those scenes that mesh itself together so it can also be waved as just a scene shift continuity thing (or whatever you call it). Plus, the ending of that trap was pretty awesome in the sense that I never expected that is how it would turn out in terms of Riggs and his test and saving Matthews.
The new players of the franchise, since the last Saw had a few exit, is Agent Strahm and Agent Perez (as I mentioned above). After Gilmore Girls, it seems Scott Patterson went ahead and joined into the Saw franchise for a little bit. This is his entry point. I love Scott Patterson because of his character Luke in Gilmore Girls however, in some hints when Agent Strahm gets angry and frustrated, its really still Luke just in a different context. And that is what makes it pretty awesome for me because the best parts of the movie was when he was talking to Jill Tuck (played by Betsy Russell) who is the ex-wife of John Kramer, aka Jigsaw and we dive into their past. Those parts helped give Jigsaw context and it was what added a foundation making Jigsaw actually more human as despite the extreme he took it, there was a reason behind this. Its smart to bring new players to a franchise and expand on the backstory.
Overall, I can’t say that I’m particularly a huge fan of Saw IV. It had its solid moments that truly did redeem itself. I do say that Saw franchise has this pattern and its starting to make it hard to watch a ton in advance before I review because it just meshes all together. I think that makes a point of how it lacks originality as other than making new intricate traps and new tests, its really formulaic. The new characters breathe some new life to it and its in these characters and dialogue where it shines. Saw IV is a tiny step back up from Saw III. Its kind of near the Saw II rating (at least that is my score for Letterboxd). Three more movies to go in the franchise (or 4 if I see the upcoming Jigsaw out depending on schedule) and there is somewhat of a redemption in this one for myself so at least I’m a little more eager to see Saw V.
Have you seen Saw IV?
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