Movie Review: SAW IILions Gate Films

“Oh yes, there will be blood.”

The infamous cancer-ridden sociopath Jigsaw is back, playing his “How much blood will you shed to stay alive?” game. Only this time, he’s upped the rules a bit, having kidnapped a group of former criminals and placed them inside a house filled with Jigsaw’s traps and hints. One of the group happens to be the son of the detective hot on Jigsaw’s trail. Now the clock is ticking, and Jigsaw’s the one who’s pulling the puppet strings…

As a big fan of the original Saw (regardless of what certain friends of your Uncle NecRo says), when news came out that there was going to be a sequel released merely one year after the first one, I wasn’t too pleased. Obviously, when a sequel is pumped out a year after the first one, especially when the original is an unprecedented success, the quality of the sequel comes into question (remember Nightmare On Elm St. 5? Case closed). Which is one of the reasons why I held off watching this in the theaters when it was out, and waited for the DVD release.

Now, looking back, I’m kicking myself for not watching this in the theater. I would have loved to watch the crowd’s reaction to some of the most twisted, sick and downright imaginative setups and kills that rivals the ones in the first movie. Instead of being an enigma, Jigsaw is placed in the forefront, which is a kind of ballsy move considering that it usually means the villain like this looses some of his mystery. Not so here, as the character was expertly written to actually make him seem even more unsettling while he was explaining why he does what he does to the haggard Detective Mason. The screenplay and plotting were expertly done, keeping things clipping at a very high pace, from the opening “Venus fly-trap” scene (made me squeamish…and that wasn’t even the kill itself), to the caught-in-a-maze situation the group of people were stuck in, to the twists and turns along the way that not only tied things together, but also tied things up with the end of the first movie. And like the first Saw, the ending to Saw 2 kicked me square in the junk, the effects of which I’m still mulling over in my head as of this writing. Nicely done, methinks…

On the downside, though, I do admit that the script maybe was a bit rushed to get this movie out, as things just didn’t seem to explore all the possibilities. Mind you, I was satisfied, but I couldn’t help but think that there could have been more to the whole thing, like getting half the fries in your meal deal. Then there’s the scene where the group of victims are waking up inside the house, no one ever knowing how they got there, and no one knowing each other, only to realize that there is one thing that ties them all together…kind of like the concept found in the Cube series.

All said, Saw 2 is a nice 90-minute thrill ride that will definitely keep you in a vice all the way through. Rent it in conjunction with the first Saw…