More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

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

Latest Reviews

To the Ends of the Earth by Jay Seaver

Wood Job! by Jay Seaver

News of the World by Rob Gonsalves

Promising Young Woman by Rob Gonsalves

Wonder Woman 1984 by Rob Gonsalves

Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone by Rob Gonsalves

Mank by Rob Gonsalves

Wander Darkly by Rob Gonsalves

Stand In, The by Rob Gonsalves

MLK/FBI by alejandroariera

subscribe to this feed

Saw 2
[] Buy posters from this movie
by William Goss

"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"
4 stars

Man, if any person has earned an A for effort, it would be the ever-diabolical Jigsaw (played with a sinister calm by Tobin Bell). Here is a guy who never actually murders anyone, but instead goes out of his way to set up elaborate traps, giving his victim the option to either appreciate their life or suffer a grisly death. In last year's 'Saw,' he trapped Cary Elwes in a bathroom with Leigh Whannell (co-writer of both films) and let them hack off limbs, among other bleak activities. This time around, in the cleverly-titled 'Saw II,' Jigsaw has himself captured so that he may reveal to bitter Detective Eric Mathews (Donnie Wahlberg) his current scheme surrounding a booby-trapped house in which eight strangers reside, one of whom is the cop’s son. As if that weren’t enough, Jigsaw is still rotting away from the inside of terminal cancer. Now, come on. This man is undoubtedly deserving of some props, don’t you think?

Actually, so are co-writer/director Darren Lynn Bousman and Whannell for crafting a superior sequel to last year’s horror sensation. Gone, for the most part, are the choppy flashbacks and pathetic acting of the original. Except for a brief exposition concerning Jigsaw’s motives, the plot is a relatively linear one, which helps promote a better sense of urgency than the original ever could manage. Only three characters return from the first film: Jigsaw; Amanda (Shawnee Smith), a survivor who must once again escape his deathtraps; and Kerry (Dina Meyer), the lead investigator on the Jigsaw case.

While it would take much effort to achieve the level of pitiful performance Elwes accomplished in the first one, none of the sequel’s cast fall quite that far. Sure, some characters are relatively flat (fear not: Franky G will not let you forget how stubbornly macho his drug dealer is), but others do a suitable job of conveying whatever terror the scene calls for. Though he fulfills the gruff cop position better than Danny Glover tried to, Wahlberg’s angst-ridden role tends to get redundant as the story progresses.

However, the Saw series isn’t so much about characters as their gruesome demises, and therein lies the icky fun. Bousman and Whannell cook up a handful of cringe-inducing set pieces to speed up the ticking clock, with situations including (but not limited to) spikes, revolvers, syringes, and an Easy-Bake Oven of sorts. Of course, the whole affair’s excessively bleak and grungy, with yet another twisted ending to cast the preceding events in a different light. The same dingy cinematography and frantic editing that the first one used (including the annoying car-chase technique) return to establish a rather effective sense of continuity between the two. Fans wouldn’t expect anything less and should leave with their bloodlust satisfied. On the same token, anyone who could care less for Saw won’t be easily swayed by this effort.

At the end of the day, 'Saw II' boils down to little more than depraved schlock. However, it happens to be well-executed schlock at that, and this Halloween, one could do worse than take the time to recognize Jigsaw and his sadistic puzzle. After all, he’s put a lot of hard work into it.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 10/28/05 14:42:10
[printer] printer-friendly format  

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
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  28-Oct-2005 (R)
  DVD: 24-Oct-2006



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast