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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.32%
Worth A Look34.65%
Average: 11.02%
Pretty Bad: 14.17%
Total Crap: 22.83%

10 reviews, 67 user ratings

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Saw 2
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by EricDSnider

"Like the first one, except without the devilishly clever ideas."
3 stars

What "Saw" had going for it were its ideas. If it was occasionally too ugly for its own good, its stylishness and clever storytelling techniques made up for it.

"Saw II," by comparison, has a lot of blood but almost no ideas. The maniac with a God complex who punishes people for their sins wasn't exactly original with "Saw," and it's even less original in the sequel, where it's the same killer with the same agenda.

This time, instead of two people locked in a room, Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) has eight people locked in a house. He can monitor them by closed-circuit cameras, but there's no need to. The place has been elaborately booby-trapped, and notes and cassette tapes provide the victims with clues as to why they've been chosen and what torturous things they must do to get out. It would seem that Jigsaw wants them to endure the trials and emerge better people, more grateful to be alive -- but it could also be that Jigsaw really likes it when people fail his tests and die. It's hard to tell with these serial-killer types.

Among the eight captives, the two least attractive ones die quickly and we're left with six. They're told via tape recorder that in two hours, they will die from the toxic gas they've been breathing, but that an antidote is in the safe in the middle of the room. The combination to the safe is for them to figure out based on the clues Jigsaw gives them.

But rather than work on that, the six people choose to scream at and bicker with each other for the next 90 minutes, to the point where not all of the film's deaths are Jigsaw's fault, if you catch my meaning.

Among the six are Amanda (Shawnee Smith), one of Jigsaw's previous victims and one of the few alive to tell about it; Daniel (Erik Knudsen), a tough-acting teenager whose dad (Donnie Wahlberg) is the cop working the Jigsaw case; and Xavier (Franky G), an overly muscled drug dealer. These three play key roles in figuring out what Jigsaw is up to, with varying degrees of success at outsmarting him.

The first film benefited from James Wan's David Fincher-style directing, but Wan has not returned for "Saw II." The director this time is Darren Lynn Bousman, a young filmmaker whose style is best described as that of someone who watched "Saw" a few times and remembered some of its tricks.

More importantly, his screenplay, co-written with "Saw" scribe Leigh Whannell, lacks the sick imagination of the first film, the demented audacity of its twisted scenarios. It goes without saying that all of Jigsaw's victims will have some connection to each other; what's disappointing is how lame that connection turns out to be. (I'll give the finale points, though, for effectively misdirecting our attention enough to deliver a couple of small surprises.)

My general impression is that people who hated the first film -- and there were many -- did so because of its brutality and gruesomeness. The sequel still has those traits, though perhaps not quite as vividly; what it lacks is the devious reasoning behind them. If you thought the violence in "Saw" was senseless, wait'll you see it now.

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originally posted: 10/28/05 17:53:07
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User Comments

2/21/17 morris campbell the best in the series rough&raw 4 stars
8/25/16 Matt Gross but effective. 3 stars
4/05/16 Charles Tatum Wasn't much interested in the series after this sleepy sequel 3 stars
3/03/10 Stanley Thai I was expecting much more than just deaths and more people and twists. 2 stars
2/17/09 action movie fan a good sequel=interesting scary predicament 4 stars
10/28/08 Sugarfoot I liked this entry simply because I got to know Jigsaw and his victims. 4 stars
7/23/08 David V Decent enough, but it's too bad Jigsaw became a grandfather figure. 3 stars
10/25/07 lolz AAAAHH SCARY BUT FUNNY O.o 4 stars
3/21/07 Brandi Pranger awsome to watch 5 stars
3/18/07 Justin P Hated it, was the worst movie ever until Saw 3 came out 1 stars
12/08/06 Angel Chavez Better than the first! 5 stars
11/15/06 Drew Galletti Best one in the series 4 stars
11/09/06 Dark Enchantress i love the saw movies alot! This one was could of been better, but ok 5 stars
11/08/06 Divin' in Needles Two Saws Up 4 stars
11/07/06 Drew Best one in the trilogy 5 stars
11/03/06 David Pollastrini good gore. Beverly mitchel is hot! 5 stars
11/02/06 Patsyc I liked it. It was very suspenseful and kept me on the edge of my seat. 5 stars
10/30/06 Bitchflaps Really poor 1 stars
10/30/06 Anthony Feor It has bloody deaths, What else ya got? 2 stars
10/28/06 Teanna Wow this movie was awesome and took a surprising turn at the end. WAY BETTER THAN THE FIRST 5 stars
8/17/06 Stanley Thai It's a bad movie that took a HUGE drop from the original. 2 stars
8/02/06 dan no way near as good as saw 1 3 stars
7/24/06 Samuel Pretty F'n awesome...I still thought the origional was better, but this is a fine sequel... 4 stars
6/26/06 raul valdez Jr as good as the first but not better 5 stars
6/05/06 katie A really great movie and just a little bit better than the first one. 5 stars
4/26/06 Logan Horberg This movie kicked so much ass! 5 stars
4/24/06 curtis it was pretty good i liked it....i like the 1st one too 4 stars
4/04/06 Mike Amazing,unpredictable,couldn't have guessed the ending if I tried,cant wait for saw 3 5 stars
3/18/06 Indrid Cold Less coherent and interesting than the original, but still decent Hollywood horror. 3 stars
2/27/06 Danny Not nearly as suspensful as the first one, but still pretty good for a horror film. 4 stars
2/20/06 B "Stylish" sadism = cool!!! So do pseudo-philosophical one-liners and absurd plot twists!!! 1 stars
2/19/06 Elisabeth Eagle Was a great movie in my opinion 5 stars
2/16/06 Rebecca D. Brothers It was an awesome movie with plenty of gore and suspense! Way better than the 1st. 5 stars
1/04/06 alice nothing new 3 stars
1/01/06 metalhead I didn't see the first one so I can't compare them, but i thought it was ok. 4 stars
12/13/05 Mike First was OK B-Movie, this one makes Cube Zero look like Oscar winning material. 1 stars
11/25/05 CONSTANTINE ONCE AGAIN... AWESOME, may've had a few plot, but makes up for it in the end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/22/05 Kurtis J. Beard Stay away. Stay very far away. I wouldn't touch this film again with a 10 ft pole. 1 stars
11/21/05 Stewart Amen, Jason Whyte. This movie only exists to promote pornographic violence. Evil garbage! 1 stars
11/20/05 Evil Wolfie Haha. She fell into a pit full of syringes. 4 stars
11/20/05 Bestit I liked the first (good, not great), but this one was just total crap. 1 stars
11/20/05 Moctezuma I thought it was great 5 stars
11/18/05 malcolm repulsive but fun. actually reminded me more of 'Cube' than 1st 'Saw.' 3 stars
11/18/05 Jabber Crappy, uninspired sequel. Lame-as-hell. 1 stars
11/17/05 CONSTANTINE AWESOME, Enjoyable as the 1st! Shawnee Smith was HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/16/05 Littlepurch Not as gd as the first but stil loved it.Clever ending, as ever, and Jigsaw was v menacing. 4 stars
11/16/05 Adrian Enough for fans of the first to be happy, but it doesn't live up to Saws novelty factor. 4 stars
11/15/05 JC This movie is not a fucking horror movie!!!! It's more like a suspense. 5 stars
11/13/05 cypress loved it, i would have preferred a different ending, but great movie! 5 stars
11/13/05 kanita ruined the 1st one like most sequels...vry stupid twist looked like they just bsed the end 2 stars
11/11/05 Dan Smith As good as the first, just in a spine tingling different way. 5 stars
11/06/05 blowsky how can anyone like this crap, looks like 7th graders wrote it 1 stars
11/06/05 jeff not as good as first. 3 stars
11/05/05 ew a good film 4 stars
11/04/05 Meryl I love you, screenwriters of the SAW series. I love you. 5 stars
11/04/05 Agent Sands Not nearly as scary or well-written as the original. But it is VERY GORY, which is good. 4 stars
11/04/05 Lowell Sucked big, fat, hairy donkey nuts!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
11/02/05 Roy Smith A minor drop from the orginal not a plummet like Ring 2. 4 stars
11/02/05 me a great film 4 stars
11/01/05 Skellington I like this the first time I saw it...when it was called CUBE!!! 2 stars
11/01/05 jcjs funny but no one was laughing, stupider than one, Tobin neat, great for 3rd graders 4 stars
10/30/05 bff a great film 4 stars
10/30/05 Jake Weinberg has no taste. Saw II is "worth a look"? 2 stars
10/29/05 Jacobee SAW TWO IS OFF DA CHAIN!!! 5 stars
10/29/05 Crumbcake brianorndorf gave ELIZABETHTOWN five stars...that says it all. 5 stars
10/29/05 Darren Shea A worthy sequel. It trades much of the stark creepiness of Saw for a more complex story 4 stars
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  28-Oct-2005 (R)
  DVD: 24-Oct-2006



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