Monday, November 2, 2015

Saw 4 Movie Review – Where the Tide Turns

Runtime: 93 minutes
Release Date: October 26, 2007
Rating: R
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman

Following the events of the last film, the police send John Kramer's body for an autopsy after they find him dead in the room with all those other bodies. The coroner finds a tape in his body and passes it along to Detective Hoffman. Lieutenant Rigg later finds Detective Kerry and begins his own investigation into the Jigsaw killings. This becomes more complicated when a new body appears and he learns that a man actually escaped the trap.

The problem with the later Saw movies is that there is usually too much going on. Most of the early films featured a few traps and gave us more information about Jigsaw, which kept us interested and entertained in the movies. This one had so much going on that I found myself drifting off into la la land and trying to keep up when I came back.

One of the best scenes in the film is the end of Donnie Wahlburg, aka Detective Eric Matthews. Though most of us assumed that he did in one of the previous films, it turns out that he's still alive, for the time being anyway. The new killer leaves him tied up on a block of ice with a noose around his neck and Hoffman strapped to a series of electrodes next to him. As the ice melts, he keeps slipping and sliding, but if he falls off the ice, the trap will kill them both. When he finally does slip and gets his head smashed in, it was probably the best moment of the movie. Unlike poor Amanda's death, this one really does fit the character.

Rigg, who we barely saw in any of the other movies, suddenly becomes the main focus of interest. The new Jigsaw killer sends him on a mission across town, and he must complete a series of different tasks in the hopes of saving Matthews. Given what I said in the last paragraph, you can guess how well he does.

The problem isn't Rigg the character, it's the fast that we don't really know him. I wish they left Kerry alive long enough for her to get her own movie. Since she really did have a connection to each film, it would have been nice to see her stick around a little longer. Rigg suddenly becomes our lead character, but I care as little about him as I do about Hoffman. Speaking of which, Hoffman is no substitution for the original Jigsaw.

I do like Agent Strahm played by Scott Patterson. It's probably the Gilmore Girls fan inside me, but I think he actually brought something new/good to the series. Though watching Saw 4 now and knowing what happens to his character later made me a little sad, it was nice to see him in this one.

The same can't be said about Jill Tuck. As the former wife of Kramer, she should have a lot of insight into him, but she really doesn't add anything to the film. She's really only there to talk about things we already know and set things up for her role in the next movie. Her character is completely bland and a little boring.

As much as I love the first three films in the series, Saw 4 makes me wish they had just made a trilogy.

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