“You have seen the errors in your policy,” Jigsaw
(Tobin Bell) hisses in the latest Saw
movie. And, kids, he’s hissing a pun at Big Insurance when he does, the
profiteers who determine “who lives and who dies.”
As Jigsaw tortures the actuarial menace who sentenced him
and other cancer patients to death, forcing Not-Evil-Just-Officious Will (Peter
Outerbridge) to save or let die his Umbrella Insurance colleagues, Will is
reminded that “your decisions (are) symbolized by the blood on your
You just don’t expect that from a Saw movie, do you? But Saw VI, which begins by making two “predatory
lenders” carve off hunks of their flesh, dump it on a scale and see which
one can lose the most weight the quickest (the loser dies), is surfing the
zeitgeist, and how.
It’s still torture porn, more excruciating than scary. It’s
still all about the elaborate and gory “games” the victims must win
in order to survive Jigsaw’s test of character, redemption and humanity. Body
parts are lost, guts spill and sharp objects pierce to the sound of screams in
the night. But this script, by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton, has a more
lyrical bent, and a more satiric bite, than any of the other Saw sequels.
That’s a bit like saying “You’re fully covered, until
you make that first claim,” but hey, Saw movies make you grasp at straws.
An insurance company lawyer, a “sensationalist”
reporter (Samantha Lemole), a lifelong smoker and assorted innocents are
trapped in the latest underground murder maze. They’re all dependent on the
character and courage of a guy who developed the actuarial tables that his
company uses to shed customers who won’t actually make money for Umbrella
In other words, they’re all screwed.
There’s still this multi-movie subplot, police intrigues
about catching the man actually carrying out the long-dead Jigsaw’s will, now
that his last will and testament have been read. The widow (Betsy Russell) is
mixed up with the murderous cop (Costas Mandylor) covering his Jigsaw tracks.
Poor Shawnee Smith returns as a Jigsaw convert in the many (newly filmed)
The acting is perfunctory on most fronts, though Outerbridge
brings a measure of pathos to his claims adjuster. I like to think Tobin Bell,
more a voice and reptilian presence than an actor, has bought an island
somewhere on his Saw-gotten gains.
He’ll make at least one more payment on it if he has. Yes,
there will be a Saw VII even if Paranormal
Activity snuffs this one out at the box
office, and Saw VII will be in
3D. I can hardly wait.
Maybe we’ll all have full health coverage by the time that
one opens. Jigsaw wouldn’t have it any other way.
2 stars (out of 5)
1 hour 33 minutes
R (sequences of grisly bloody violence and torture, and
Roger Moore reviews movies for the Orlando Sentinel. Via McClatchy-Tribune News Service.