Rated R/90 min.
At the beginning of Saw VI, the plans of the late serial killer Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) are being carried out by a corrupt cop, played by Costas Mandylor, who traps Jigsaw’s intended victims, shackles them to torture devices and makes them spend the last moments of their life suffering as they attempt to free themselves.
Now, I’m willing to believe a lot of things in movies, like talking robots from space, for example, but here’s something I’ll never buy: that Mandylor is running this operation, at an abandoned zoo, almost entirely by himself. The torture chambers are as elaborate as a ride at Disneyland, with metal clamps, electricity, TV monitors, puppetry, cages, scaffolding, steam and acid containers, all working simultaneously and supposedly overseen by a guy who looks like he couldn’t program his Tivo.
One torture device involves a child’s playground carousal—how the heck did they sneak that into the zoo? Did they hire a delivery truck? Wouldn’t that make people suspicious? Yes, put the carousal over there. No, the zoo is empty. The screams you hear? Those are, um, the monkeys that got left behind.
I hate to break it to Saw fans, but this latest sequel is an unintentional self-parody, disgusting and laughable. I was a longtime fan of the Jason Voorhees installments, so I know the pain of being faithful to a horror movie franchise, even as it devolves into a joke.
Despite his character’s death three movies back, Bell returns as the murderous Jigsaw. He has the grave presence of a cult leader and is an actor who gives the part all he’s got, but he’s doing the same psychopath-as-twisted-moralizer bit that Kevin Spacey nailed as John Doe in Seven. Jigsaw’s targets are mostly health insurance companies and loan officers, and the screenwriters have made the character a soapbox-straddling bore. It’s one thing to hear Michael Moore give a long-winded speech about the difference between health care in America and Asia, but Jigsaw?
The rest of the cast is a collection of B-movie actors and one-time TV stars. I’m happy to see New Kids on the Block member Donnie Wahlberg has escaped this series (he starred in parts 2-4) but the bizarre additions in his place are George Newbern, the groom of the Father of the Bride movies and Darius McCrary, one of the kids from Family Matters. Urkel and Punky Brewster, take note—if you can’t find work, there’s always a role for you in Saw VII.
The strobe light-style editing would give Michael Bay a seizure and, while the multiple flashbacks will keep fans and non-fans up to speed with the overcomplicated plot. One hilariously idiotic touch is showing a flashback to a scene that happened just five minutes ago, as if we’d forget a woman chopping off her arm with an axe. Maui Time Weekly, Barry Wurst II