As a companion piece to "Saw III" this film is pretty sick. There is so much threading between the previous one and this one that if you didn't pay attention in "III" you are pretty much out of the loop and not going to enjoy it. On the other hand, if you paid attention to all the details left unfinished in the last few then this one pays off nicely.
Once again, as with all of the "Saw" films, the acting is what hinders this one. It's too bad as this one has one of the more interesting stories of the bunch although it also has one of the least plausible sub plots too. "Saw IV" has SWAT leader Rigg (Mr. Bent reappearing in the same role as the bit parts in both "II" and "III") becoming obsessed in finding Eric Mathews (Donnie Wahlberg whom reprises his role too) and ending up getting caught up in a Jigsaw game of epic proportions that includes an odd subplot concerning two FBI agents added to the case.
Overall, this is perhaps the most far-fetched one of the series considering the game seems to have more then a few players in it (both Rigg and the FBI agents included) and taking place in multiple areas. It would seem to be almost impossible to set this game up like that in the short time span and to be able to predict not only one player but a plethora of players. If one puts that aside though, this is one of the more satisfying stories in the franchise yet.
What really makes this film pay off is the twist at the end. Not particularly the twist of 'who's the new Jigsaw' (no spoiler here if you saw he died at the end of "III"), which pays off in its own way in the threading from the previous film, but in the SECOND twist that seems to come out of the blue. I don't want to give too much away, but seeing as the series has always loved to fuck with time, one should have seen this coming eventually. It's this other twist that made the ending so damn enjoyable and a shocker and definitely made the story worth its weight in time and gives it a whole extra star in my rating.
I felt though that this probably should have been the last one considering its epic game style in conjunction with the last few films. It was interesting to add in a new 'Jigsaw', but some of the subplots feel a tad unfinished for this one - although knowing the series they will be nicely tied off later on. Just with its somewhat over-the-top story and sick twists, I have to say this is my second favorite of the franchise. Loved what they added as background for John Kramer (the original Jigsaw) and loved how it ties in all the films together. It's pretty clever even if it could have used another half hour of character work and cleaning up some subplots.
Written By Matt Reifschneider