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 elected to watch Saw II the other day but seriously doubt I’ll go any further despite the fact my son tells me III is worth it. It’s like remaking Psycho … that scare will only get you once, good but only once. After that it all becomes repetitious.
I will grant that Saw II had a few twists and turns. Another thing, Tobin Bell. That guy just scares me, creepy little dude. This release was directed by Darren Lynn Bousman who co-wrote the script with Leigh Wannell. It received 7 nominations, one award. The rating, as you can expect, is R, and rightly so. Lots of blood and guts in this bad boy, language, drug use/references, murders, mayhem, and Tobin Bell.
Saw II: Jigsaw is back and not very nice. Our hero to be this time around is Eric Matthews, a policeman. He’s divorced and has a rocky relationship with his teenage son. His reputation on the force isn’t all that great either, he’s been known to ‘set up’ a few people in the past. Not that they didn’t deserve to get arrested and even convicted, but he helps it along the way, just in case.
Jigsaw and Eric start their little dance when a body is discovered, in a makeshift torture mask. Notes are left for Eric, taunting him. Finally the source is discovered, our very own Jigsaw, but he has evil up his puny sleeve. He has captured Eric’s son, along with a few others, and locked them in a house that has poison gas seeping in, ever so slowly. The doors will unlock on their own in three hours, but they gas will kill them in two hours … what a dilemma.
There are hypos hidden around the house, if the captured can just locate them by following the clues left by the Jiggy one. Of course, they start talking and discover they almost all have a connection - jail time and one less than honorary policeman, Erie Matthews. His son doesn’t divulge his connection, sly fox, but it isn’t long before, as the people start dying off by one gory manner or another, that the truth comes out and the remaining captives learn of the familial ties.
From this point on, there are several ways this movie could venture. I’ll just leave that to your twisted imagination.
I found it humorous, in a rather sick way, when Erie & Jigsaw are driving to the captives house that Jigsaw makes his little Last House on the Left reference. Gave me chills, always does. They did, at least, have some continuity of characters with Tobin & Shawnee Smith. They gave the participants more movement in this release, albeit rather nasty at times. They also branched out quite a bit with their torture tactics.
I really don’t think they could have hit on a better villain than Tobin Bell. He is just deliciously nasty and you care for him not one bit. As far as the other actors in the hellhole, they seemed to overact sometimes, putting me off a bit. However, Shawnee Smith … what a vixen! Donnie Wahlberg worked well as Eric Matthews, you almost felt sorry for him, he seemed so sincere at times.
Film can’t really be commented on because the surroundings were so bleak and barren I had nothing realistic to compare it to, so maybe that worked, I don’t know.
DVD extras include: audio commentary; Jigsaw’s Game featurette; Bits & Pieces, the Props of Saw II featurette; The Traps of Saw II featurette; storyboards, art galleries, theatrical trailer.
*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
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
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 … 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
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...