I want to play a game. Jigsaw is back, using a bigger trap and extracting more blood than ever!
Nov 8, 2008
As true to the horror genre as the first 'SAW', 'SAW II' brings us back to the bloody depths of Jigsaw's intriguing games and puzzles, where blood is the price you pay for not playing by the rules. I am as pleased with this sequel as I was with the original, bringing blood and horror back to horror where it belongs. Hopefully, 'SAW III' will rise from the ashes of this grisly phoenix to entertain horror aficionados again.
Detective Eric Matthews has cornered and caught John (Tobin Bell) the jigsaw killer. Or has he? When John tells Matthews another game is in progress, and shows Matthews footage that his son has been recruited for the game, Matthews is forced into Jigsaw's nightmare of trying to unravel the clues.
The trap? Several people are locked inside a dilapidated old house. (The atmosphere of the house is sinister and disturbing, but not as filthy as the bathroom in the original.) The doors to the house will open in three hours, but the players are already breathing in a poison gas that will kill them within two hours. The players include Matthews' son Daniel (Erik Knudson) and Amanda (Shawnee Smith), who previously escaped one of Jigsaw's traps and is forced to play again. John's tape informs them that there are antidotes hidden throughout the house, one of which is in the safe in the middle of the room they are in. He tells them they all possess the combination to the safe; that the numbers are in the back of their mind. Once they figure out what they all have in common, they will know why they are there. X marks the spot (again). Let the game begin.
Amanda tries to warn her fellow players that she has dealt with Jigsaw's traps before, and that they must follow the rules, but the fear of death and the clash of personalities have the players all running for their own lives. Needless to say, the house has many lovely traps awaiting our game-players. We get to observe not only the players desperate struggle to survive, but witness Detective Matthews degeneration into his own madness as he struggles with John's mental games in order to save his son's life.
Without the 'whodunit' value of the original 'SAW', the surprise in 'SAW II' comes strictly from the clues of the game, not a 'whodunit' but 'what was the most important clue'? It is still a puzzle for the viewer to solve, and I will go no further on revealing any hints. Suffice to say, pay attention, and get ready to be shocked, stunned, grossed out, and gagging with exquisite horror and delight as the blood begins to flow. Watch for the peek at the original bathroom.
I must add, I have never felt so drawn to a psychopathic killer in my life as I am to John. I would kiss Jigsaw's cancer-withered lips and toes if I could find him. I just hope he doesn't find me first.
One more quick note. When I saw Donnie Wahlberg in 'The Sixth Sense', I wondered how an awful ex-pop singer (the word singer used loosely) could turn into such a great actor. While his performance in 'The Sixth Sense' was superior, he plays his role as Detective Matthews quite skillfully. Kudos also to Tobin Bell and Shawnee Smith.
If you loved 'SAW', you are going to love 'SAW II'. If you love blood, guts, building terror, violent deaths, desperately selfish personalities, and cunning killers, this movie is for you. Definitely a 'buy', 10 stars. Enjoy!
*1/2 out of **** "Saw II" is a sequel that really seems to make you appreciate whatever the original had to offer regardless of whether you actually liked it or not. "Saw", in my opinion, was a well constructed thriller. It placed two men in a sticky situation while in a tight space. What worked about it was that it was a bloody good time, packed with more thrills than I originally was led to expect. "Saw II", however, it a bloody disappointment. … more
Pros: Tobin Bell, strange concept Cons: some side characters overblown The Bottom Line: "Yes, that line forms on the right, babe Now that Macky’s back in town … " ~Kurt Weill/E. Bertolt Brecht/Marc Blitzstein I admit I was intrigued with the original, Saw, but like many of these types of movies, the sheep following after aren’t nearly as bad as the original black sheep. I … more
Detective Mathews (Donnie Wahlberg) is a hard edge cop who has two things on his mind. His son Daniel (Erik Knudsen) and the Jigsaw killer, whom he has a personal vendetta against. Matthews, his fellow detective Allison (Dina Meyer) and the SWAT team leader Rigg (Lyriq Bent) have now cornered "Jigsaw" aka John Kramer (Tobin Bell). During the raid upon his compound, three SWAT team members are severally maimed. Matthews confronts the man called "Jigsaw" … more
Pros: Neat gore factor and imagination, mood and tone Cons: Everything else. The Bottom Line: A middling gore-fest. If that is your thing, then you'll like it, otherwise . . . find something else. Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot. I tend to avoid reviewing anything that has more than 10 reviews when I pull it up. Sometimes, however, it is a good … more
What makes saw scarier and a better film than what's being released today is that it threatens more than your body; it threatens your mind too. What seems to scare people more than fake scary movies or make believe characters are people that are real and stories that feel even realer. In Saw it feels more possible for this to be done and this creates more fear and more thinking than you would get from a traditional scary movie. If you ask me Saw 2 is just as good as the first with the same intelligent … more
I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.
Theatrical release was heavily edited to receive an R-rating.
Production on the film lasted 25 days.
In SAW, a huge horror hit in 2004, a masked man called Jigsaw orchestrated the kidnapping of two people, chained them in a disgusting bathroom in an abandoned warehouse, and played vicious, brutal mind games with them that potentially could lead to their freedom. Jigsaw is back for more gory fun in SAW II, but this time he comes out from behind the mask to terrorize a troubled cop face-to-face. Tobin Bell reprises his brief role as Jigsaw in the first film with a major starring turn in the sequel. Dying of cancer, Jigsaw lets himself get caught, only to show Detective Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg) that his son, Daniel (Erik Knudsen), has been taken hostage with seven other people, all of whom have been placed in a house of horrors with only the slimmest chance of escaping with their lives. Jigsaw promises Matthews that Daniel will live only if the cop follows the rules of the game, but time is running out, as the captives' bodies have been poisoned with a toxin that will soon destroy them. Meanwhile, i...