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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 Rob Gonsalves

"Still implausible, less enjoyable."
2 stars

John Kramer (Tobin Bell), the dying mastermind behind the chamber of horrors in the "Saw" films, manages to find people who are frittering away the precious gift of life and administer a harsh lesson in why they should appreciate it. One would think that a man with such impressive brainpower and resources could turn both to curing the cancer that's killing him, but then Lions Gate wouldn't have a prosperous Halloween-weekend franchise.

In Saw II, the diabolical puppetmaster turns his rough attentions to a variety of people who've been on the wrong side of the law. They find themselves in the usual abandoned building, with the usual taunting tape recordings and the usual cryptic clues. Among them is Amanda (Shawnee Smith), who's dealt with "Jigsaw" before, and Daniel (Erik Knudsen), the emo son of hotheaded cop Eric (Donnie Wahlberg), who's been busted down to desk duty for cracking too many perps' skulls. The cops actually track down "Jigsaw," who sits hooked up to an IV and forces the impatient Eric to listen to his every whispered utterance.

Which boils down to: Hahaha, I know more about you than you do. Hahaha, only I hold the key to your safety and you must do exactly as I say in order to escape. What a control freak. Unwilling to fix what wasn't broken (or original), Saw II dishes up more of the same dare-you-to-look moments. Will this guy put out his eye to escape death? Will someone dive into a pit of syringes to obtain a key? Will this person risk a paper cut by licking an envelope??? Well, actually that last one isn't in the movie, but I guess they have to save something for Saw III.

The ornate sadism isn't enough to carry our interest this time around; for one thing, there are fewer moments when a character does have to make a choice between the agonizing and the lethal, and the bloody fates don't have much to do with the characters' individual foibles. Much of the movie is given over to watching the various captives argue about what to do next. The madman's ratiocinative powers seem to cross over into psychic abilities, since he seems to know how each character will react, when they'll react, and what effect the reaction will have. As in the first movie, the real tormentors of the characters are the screenwriters. "Jigsaw" has such power, such malign foresight, he practically is the screenwriter.

If the first Saw was indebted to David Fincher, this one takes its cues from The Silence of the Lambs; there's even a similar SWAT-team-invades-house misdirection, and "Jigsaw" himself comes off like a detached psychotherapist. I'd have more fun with these movies if they didn't take themselves with such grisly shock-cut seriousness; they're basically derivative, hermetically sealed head games for the young and jaded, and ripe for parody.

These movies have gotten a rep for being nastily transgressive, but the filmmakers may already be running out of tricks: aside from the admittedly wince-worthy opening demise, we have here a gunshot to the head, a slit throat, death by nail-studded baseball bat, death by furnace, and most inventively slow death by poison gas. Gee, haven't seen any of those before. "Saw II" gives us a bunch of mostly stupid people and invites us to wonder aloud who'll be stupid enough to stumble into the next uninspired deathtrap. Forgive me if I want a little more from my horror films.

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originally posted: 10/28/06 13:14:11
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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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