Darren Lynn Bousman returns to the helm of this third sequel to Saw, and whilst I personally thought it was an improvement on the last entry, it is not without its problems.
We open on an autopsy table. Jigsaw is dead. As anyone with internet access will tell you however, a tape encased in wax is found in his stomach, and the games begin again.
After the FBI discover the body of Detective Kerry (Dina Myer) Lyriq Bent’s character, Swat Commander Rigg (who has appeared in three of the films in the series) is attacked and awakens to find himself Jigsaw’s latest victim. Rigg is set a simple task. He has 90 minutes to save two of his colleagues. At the same time, two FBI agents Perez and Strahm search for Rigg and a possible third accomplice, when it is revealed that neither Jigsaw nor Amanda could have killed Kerry alone.
The film opens well (showcasing effects work of the highest standard) and manages to be surprisingly fresh throughout (despite the apparent death of the main antagonists in the last entry) whilst simultaneously connecting the dots in the time line throughout the franchise.
The cast are all great especially Tobin Bell, Justin Louis and Betsy Russell and on similar fine form is director Bousman who turns in his most technically accomplished piece of work so far.
Despite its abundant strengths, Saw IV is slightly ruined by dropping Rigg and his story for lengthy amounts of time on more than one occasion, its flashy transitions will undoubtedly leave simple minded viewers wondering how Jigsaw can be watching Jill’s grilling by the Feds and why the police station has a room accessed through Rigg’s mirror and ultimately, its open ending. The film is however consistently clever and whilst the expected twist makes less of a dramatic ending than previous climaxes (mostly because it will confuse a large portion of the audience) the film is a worthy addition to the series.