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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 brianorndorf

"The real torture is sitting through this crap again"
1 stars

2004’s “Saw” was the pits. An amateurish, horrifically acted Halloween hit, there was no reason for Lion’s Gate Films to resist cashing in on a “Saw” sequel. Now we have “Saw II,” and while removing Cary Elwes from the equation is a tremendous move on the filmmaker’s part, the rest of the obnoxious experience is basically the same, only this time there are eight bad actors to watch murder the genre instead of two.

Detective Eric Mason (Donnie Wahlberg, channeling his tough guy brother Mark) is at the end of his wits. With his son constantly in trouble, and the stresses of his job leading him to questionable police practices, Mason is put to the test when his team is baited by the Jigsaw Killer (Tobin Bell). Arranging a new game where eight strangers (including Glenn Plummer, Beverley Mitchell, Shawnee Smith, and Franky G) are being slowly gassed in a locked house, and face elaborate traps everywhere, the dying Jigsaw offers Mason a chance to save them, as long as he has the patience to sit down and talk about the madman's philosophy on cherishing life. With time running out, the strangers use drastic measures to save their own lives, while Mason is driven to extremes, forced to watch them die one by one.

I'm not exactly sure how 2004's "Saw" captured the imagination of so many individuals, except that it was a well-timed Halloween release, and played well to an undemanding audience looking for a little bit of the old red. Slapped together out of thin air in just under a year, "Saw II" is basically the same experience, this time without the comedy stylings of actor Cary Elwes.

Losing Elwes and his hideously misguided performance is the first and last good idea that "Saw II" has. This is quickie sequel, both in production quality and writing, was thrown together to make a quick buck, not to further the myth of the Jigsaw. In fact, with the ludicrous revelation of the man behind the Jigsaw at the end of "Saw," the sequel has to come up with several ways to refresh itself since the identity of the killer is known right from the start. Screenwriters Darren Lynn Bousman (who also makes his directorial debut with the film) and Leigh Whannell (who scripted the original) have chosen to multiply the danger and the chaos by pitting eight characters against each other instead of two, seemingly patting themselves on the back for this bold maneuver. Instead, the change only gives more actors ample opportunity to overact with lousy dialog and direction, and for the film to have even less interest in character development than before. These are just nameless bodies for the slaughter, making absurd (even by genre standards) and overtly theatrical decisions just so the screenwriters can dream up some more Rube Goldbergian devices to satisfy the gorehounds.

Of course, I'm one of those gorehounds, yet there are many elements that define this franchise that I have trouble swallowing; the most important of which is Bousman's amateur hour direction, which uses a lot of silly hand-held camera shots to conjure up faux tension. Bousman also tries to follow in "Saw" director James Wan's shoes by spicing up some of the more gruesome moments with whiplash editing and a camera that feels like it was tied to a tetherball pole and swung around. There's no confidence to Bousman's direction, and his touch lends the film a distinctly discounted Sci-Fi Channel look and feel. "Saw II" isn't exactly a luxurious production (the action takes place on two measly sets), but Bousman doesn't have the imagination to boost the material past its cash-in origins. "Saw II" was cheap to make, and it looks even cheaper.

Whannell and Bousman do feel the need to outdo "Saw" by mounting even bigger twists along the way. I guess a certain amount of suspension of disbelief is mandatory for the "Saw" films, but this sequel takes advantage of the audiences' willingness to swallow nonsense as it stages increasingly ludicrous murders and reveals just to keep ahead of the crowd. Outside of one good relatable shock (a character falls into a pit of hypodermic needles), the rest of the film overextends itself trying to scare the audience, or, at the very least, keep them from guessing the ending. I'm not sure how anybody could even explain the bizarre ending of "Saw II," much less predict it, but the blood flows and the actors are terrible, so if it ain't broke, why fix it?

In the long run, "Saw II" is a better film than the original, but that's like saying being kicked in the groin is better than being punched in the face.

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originally posted: 10/28/05 15:11:41
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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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