A detective and his team must rescue 8 people trapped in a factory by the twisted serial killer known as Jigsaw.A detective and his team must rescue 8 people trapped in a factory by the twisted serial killer known as Jigsaw.A detective and his team must rescue 8 people trapped in a factory by the twisted serial killer known as Jigsaw.
I'll assume that you've already seen the original Saw and you're wondering if this is a worthy successor. In a word: yeah. But it's a very different approach. While the first Saw was brilliantly minimalistic, the story being staged almost entirely in one room, this second installment takes us out of the box. Gone is the claustrophobic feeling of confusion and good ole existentialistic "who am I" from the original, and instead we get more of a mystery as seen from the outside, as our hero Eric (Donnie Wahlberg) tries to crack the case before it's too late.
Sure, the same elements existed in the first film, with 2 concurrent plots of victim & detective. But the draw of the first was to figure out why all these things are happening. Here the mystery is revealed in the first few minutes, the killer is apprehended, and what follows is a sort of chess game between investigator Eric and perp Jigsaw with the clock ticking to save the intended victims. It's actually a clever approach similar to the rather AWESOME film "Exorcist III" (1990) which is composed of dark dialogues between the detective and the lunatic, and this dramatic approach was repeated a year later in the more popular "Silence of the Lambs" (1991). But in this domain, in order for it to work, the film must be slow, almost painfully slow, thick and heavy.
Saw II attempts to balance the heavy, psychological "Lambs" approach with good old fashioned slashes & gore. It succeeds, I feel. But I still can't help but wonder how it would've been if the filmmakers had gone full tilt "Lambs" on us. Instead the dialogues between Eric & Jigsaw seem a bit short, rushed and not fully explored.
The result is a film which is certainly entertaining, but I don't think it will ever be considered a psychological classic like the other two I mentioned, or like "Seven"--films that are much slower in pace, with far fewer gallons of blood spilled but with oceans of drama.
I know this may sound like a negative review, but that's only because I'm comparing Saw II to the heavyweights. If instead we take Saw II at face value, a straightforward horror flick, it certainly delivers. There's the added bonus of having two nice twists at the end. In terms of sheer entertainment value, Saw II cuts a real log.
I should really quit trying to come up with witty puns.
- Dec 16, 2015