"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. I didn't think it would be a better film than the original although I expected just the slightest bit more out of it than this. The second film in the "Saw" franchise takes whatever was interesting about the original and alters it for the worst. There's a whole new cast of characters as well as a new location. Aside from being pretty boring throughout and pretentious in its symbolism, "Saw II", admittedly, has some decent part to it too. For one, it sheds a little bit more light on Jigsaw, not that we needed any more insight on the guy. But even the teensiest bit of new "insight" can't hide the fact that "Saw II" feels like an almost completely faux thriller. How can I be entertained by something that's not interesting? How can brutality possibly be a decent substitute for tension? I don't know, and neither do the makers of this film. It's as if they made it without care. It's as if they created such a film without going through the process of actual creation, resulting in one messy mish-mash of ideas. And by ideas, I of course mean nothing more than torture ideas. The film tries as hard as it can to be inventive with whatever new "traps" it brings to the table (hell, it kind of INVENTS the whole "trap" thing for the franchise), but in the end the movie is more sadistic than it is inventive. I don't mind the existence of "Saw II" as much as I should. It's just that I find it to be a sequel devoid of reason. If I were to ask, "Why was this film made", the answer would either be "for good profit" or "for the hell of it". To advance the series into something ugly is always a sin. And in this case, Tobin Bell's character should torture not the so-called "innocent" captives but rather the filmmakers involved in the six crappy sequels. While I can forgive the existence of this poorly constructed horror/thriller, I can't dismiss it all the same for its lack of inspiration. All I can say is that if you must get your torture-porn fix, then this movie should hold up nicely enough. But if you're looking for anything in the way of an actual film, with an actual plot, with actual characters, then you're out of luck. Fans of the original may want to carry on with the series, and I respect that. I respect those people because I too will watch the rest of the series, with nothing but criticism on my mind.
"Saw" ended on a pretty decent note. It made you want to see the sequel. Why? Because maybe some stuff will be EXPLAINED in the second coming. Second time's the charm, right. Apparently, no. I'd rather that the series begun and ended with the original "Saw", which is better than any of its sequels/imitators. At least the first "Saw" film was entertaining. At least it wasn't completely absorbed in its sadism. I am indeed referencing all things pointing to "Saw II" when I say this. Unlike "Saw", "Saw II" is one hell of a let-down. Not only was I not entertained by the thing, but I was often times ANNOYED by it. What could have been a particularly interesting turn of events turns into just that, but with less flare than you'd think. The plot goes a little differently when comparing it to the story of the original "Saw", and for the better or for the worst, it's what I mean when I say "different". Hell, I'm just going to say up front that its difference isn't a good thing. "Saw II" squanders the potential genius of the original. If you have wondered what the hell worked about the original, then here's what: "Saw" was solid filmmaking because it featured but two men in a room. Both of the men are being psychologically tortured by a madman whose existence isn't even revealed until the end of the film. "Saw II" continues Jigsaw's twisted, sadistic game; this time pitting eight people within an unknown location for about three hours. Their own desire for life begins to take a hold of them as they fall victim to Jigsaw's "game". In the meantime, one of his victims is the son of the sequels new main character, detective Eric Matthews. Matthews is convinced to learn more in-depth about Jigsaw's life and pride; all while trying to preserve his son's life. What accompanies this "film" is but a pointless "running of the humans" type "plot". In short, I really hated the "story" that this "movie" told. It's nothing but a bunch of uninteresting individuals getting killed off in even less interesting ways. What makes me despise the experience as I do is the fact that it even forgets to leave out the thrills that made "Saw" an entertaining experience. Jigsaw's character is given a little more depth, but that's about it. After all, how good can the "Saw" films get? Well, look at the original. That's how good. And how BAD can they get? Much worse than this.
The new leading man is Donnie Wahberg, a less than capable actor who just isn't as convincing as he thinks he is. What makes him such an unsatisfying new victim for Jigsaw is the fact that he's like all the other characters: he won't admit his flaws. Tobin Bell is, on a more positive note, still up for the challenge when it comes to portraying Jigsaw. Without Mr. Bell, where would the franchise be? Down the toilet, you say? Hell yeah, it would. Shawnee Smith has a more significant role as her character "Amanda" in this film. Amanda is sure to become Jigsaw's next successor, but what of the actor's performance? To tell you the truth, it's not very good. It doesn't go without its efforts, sure, but Smith makes sure that she's predictable and consistently pretentious throughout. She may think that she's a worthy successor to Jigsaw, but when you can't imitate an old man's performance, in a film, at such a young age, then you're in trouble. I thought that you're more gifted at a young age. Apparently that's a load of crap.
Traps, traps, traps....and oh, more traps! "Saw II" is like the "Traps R' Us" of movies. I mean that in possibly the worse sense of the word considering that traps alone can't make "Saw II" particularly entertaining. Sure, some of them are played for kicks and give you some mediocre entertainment value, but these traps come to low in quantity. The rest of the traps try so hard to be disturbing that they fail to maintain their potential brilliance. It's a shame, because "Saw" was more inventive than this mostly sad excuse for a sequel. The thrills are also low in quantity, which is surprising. What could be mistaken as either thrills or scares are merely lame moments of faux intensity. The film attempts to get most of its "thrills" out of the way it is shot, which is well, but not as "well" as the original. The film maintains visual decency throughout and sometimes it's even mildly entertaining, but mildly entertaining just isn't enough. The music is OK. And by OK, I mean that the new tracks are mediocre and otherwise...nothing much has changed. The film gets some points for playing that song I liked from the first film TWICE during the grand finale. The "grand finale" was by no means impressive...but hey. I LIKED that song. If you like blood, then you may be satisfied with "Saw II". That is assuming that you can get by a plot pretty much devoid of direction and an under-whelming sense of disappointment. What I liked about "Saw" is gone. And it will keep getting worse, I just know it. After all, how long can you torture something or someone until it finally decides to give in to death. In the "Saw" franchise' case, it takes seven films to convince those involved that it's time to give up the gun.
"Saw II" just didn't catch my attention...at all. From the traps to the blood to the story, nothing felt interesting. I openly admit that I liked "Saw", but as a thriller rather than the horror film that some claim it to be. In short, "Saw II" begins the shift from thriller to "horror film", and in this case it's a bad fright-fest. It's not scary. It's not even thrilling. And it forgets to swap blood for intellect. It goes the other way around with this one. And that's why it's the movie that it is. This may be the last "Saw" movie that's watchable, for the rest might be wrist-slittingly bad. Hell, I don't give a damn. I'm going to watch this series through...eventually. Once I do, I can say that I survived through AT LEAST 4 and a half films of (mostly) pure, raw torture. That's damn right. But if you enjoy watching people's faces be crushed by human venus-fly-traps, then this is your movie. But if you like watching an artsy film, then this is not the path to follow. If you must get your blood-and-"Saw" fix, then this may hold up for a decent amount of time until you discover that you'd much rather be watching an actual movie. Watch it at your own risk, and this time I really, really mean it. It's not just the level of gore (which is higher) this time. It's also the movie that I am trying to convince you to avoid. Ain't that something?
Oh SAW movie franchise, why are you addicting? I think this may be my favorite out of all the SAW movies. I am not going to go into the plot because oh my is it complicated. But I will go into how this movie isn't just a horror movie but could also be viewed as a human experiment. What amazes me is how STUPID people can be. Jigsaw repeatedly gives "clues" to the people he's playing a game with and yet they keep … 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
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
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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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...