Quick-Thoughts: Saw VI (2009)

Saw Marathon • 2nd Viewing • Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Not gonna lie, Hoffman is a little based for putting that woman up against a fat dude in the opening. If he had cut off his arm just like she did, she would’ve lost for being a healthier person. Go figure. 

Umm… what the f**k? Why is Saw VI actually a pretty decent movie? Like, I expected some more dumb fun, and while I got plenty of that again, I was rather mostly stunned to witness Jigsaw put these healthcare swindlers into an absolute hellhole of moral confusion that’s kind of difficult to endure as a viewer. There’s a really effective scene in this movie that particularly caught me off-guard involving a carrousel trap. After our main victim (president of a healthcare company that capitalizes off the poor health of others) is forced to see a person die because of his loftier well-being, let an innocent young man die for a beloved old lady, and traumatized seeing a colleague attempt to kill him after helping her, he’s confronted with an ultimate test that’s essentially there for him to realize how unfair it is to choose who lives and who dies by actually putting him directly into the killing chair that he’s unconsciously sat in for years. The best part about this scene though is he has to let 4 people die, and 2 people live by pressing two buttons that harm him, but by the end after 3 have perished, you can tell he legitimately doesn’t want to choose anymore as his last button press is almost completely done at random once he looks away and prepares his fingers to press as the carousel chooses the one that’ll be saved by him. He actually learns his lesson, woah…

“Right now, you’re feeling helpless.”

Shockingly, the Hoffman stuff was somewhat edging to watch too? Like that voice decoding scene where he gets exposed was nail-biting! — although him escaping that was pretty impractical to the highest degree but whatevs; it’s a goofy Saw movie, remember? There’s still obnoxious s**t in it though like the added Amanda twists, the whole Jill subplot, the (as usual) new contradictions to Jigsaw’s philosophies, and the callbacks to Saw III, but they’re all pretty minimal and easily ignorable aspects of the story, as the focus seems to really be on this main victim and his new set of tests. I guess you could successfully argue that this whole central theme of healthcare is explored pretty superficially, as well, and I definitely don’t disagree with that, but even as basic commentary it still works especially in the context of it being in a gruesome Saw movie. There are also commendable moments here where either Jigsaw explains secondary methods and theories to improving healthcare that just make decent sense or when they use the intimidating trap settings to remarkably symbolize what’s really happening beneath the surface as companies choose to financially rob those of disabilities by essentially killing them through protective legal walls. Is it exaggerative in portrayal? Maybe? But, am I happy this franchise finally decided to at least mindfully attempt to be poignant and relevant through the means of working with what many have been negatively calling shallow gore-porn for the past decade? Yes, yes I am.

Verdict: B-

The Saw Franchise Ranked

“Saw VI” is now available to stream on HBO Max.

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