Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) and his apprentice Amanda (Shawnee Smith) are dead. Then comes news of Detective Kerry's (Dina Myer) murder and FBI profilers, Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson) and Agent Perez (Athena Karkanis), help veteran Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) sift through Jigsaw's latest grisly game. But then SWAT Commander Rigg (Lyriq Bent), the only local officer who has yet to experience Jigsaw's handiwork, is abducted. Thrust into the madman's harrowing game, he has 90 minutes to overcome a diabolical series of interconnected traps...or face the deadly consequences. Rigg's citywide pursuit leaves a wake of dead bodies, and Detective Hoffman and the FBI uncover clues that lead them back to Jigsaw's ex-wife Jill (Betsy Russell). The genesis of Jigsaw's evil is unveiled, exposing the puppet master's true intentions and the sinister plan for his past, present - and future victims.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
As an audio visual aid for autopsy students, the early scenes in Saw IV are recommended viewing. Fans of the franchise may not be put off by the absence of humour or the convoluted plot, or by the ridiculous amount of hip hop, jump cut editing, pan zooms and matching zig-zag storytelling. They will be thrilled by the amount of blood and gore that can be squeezed into 91 minutes, the versatility of sick tortures and evil devices that Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) - even after death - is able to meticulously plan, engineer and deliver to various locations. Along with neatly printed notes and instructions. But credibility isn't the film's strong point after all; this is hard core Pain And Suffering territory.
The film wastes no time getting down to nasty business, ripping, slicing, gouging, piercing, smashing and tearing every part of the human body. In fact, it gets rather repetitious after a while, and some of the scenes become irritatingly manipulative.
The increasingly bizarre and convulsed attempts at providing Jigsaw with a motivation for his behaviour turn out to be inconsistent and unnecessary.
As you can no doubt decipher, I'm no fan of the genre, although I did find some positive cinematic elements in the original, all Australian, low budget Saw and later in Saw III. I was disturbed to realise that the ending leaves the way open to a continuation of the series; so exploitation cinema lives.
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SAW IV (MA)
CAST: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson, Betsy Russell, Lyriq Bent, Athena Karkanis, Angus Macfadyen, Shawnee Smith, Donnie Wahlberg, Dina Myer, Simon Reynolds, Justin Louis
PRODUCER: Mark Burg, Oren Koules
DIRECTOR: Darren Lynn Bousman
SCRIPT: Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan
CINEMATOGRAPHER: David A. Armstrong
EDITOR: Kevin Greutert
MUSIC: Charlie Clouser
PRODUCTION DESIGN: David Hackl
RUNNING TIME: 108 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Hoyts
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: October 25, 2007