Saw II (Widescreen)
Sound: B- Extras: C- Film: C-
After intelligent films about serial killers (Silence
of The Lambs, Se7en) and one about a possible snuff film murder (the
original and only 8mm) broke cinematic ground, the huge number of bad
serial killer movies have recently given way to a new kind of Horror genre work
that is the worst cycle yet. After the
explicit exploitation films of the 1960s and 1970s, followed by the slice &
dice films of the 1980s and revivals of the above in the 1990s, the genre has
bottomed out in what has slowly developed into a “mutilate and snuff”
cycle. Now, people do not come to a
Horror film to be scared, but to see people be tortured and degraded in a way
that is just plain idiotic. Saw II (2005)
is the sequel to one of those films, which was a hit that had a mystery with
all kinds of logic flaws. The new film
is much worse than the first, not just because it is less ambitious and has
more mutilation, but because it is even more senseless.
This time, former boy-band performer Donnie Wahlberg
(Mark’s younger brother, who also proved he could act in films like the grossly
underseen Diamond Men) is a police detective who is challenged by the
serial killer dubbed “jigsaw” but before they can get “jiggy with it” and
capture him, his troubled son has been kidnapped and put into a house with a
bunch of others with a criminal past.
Another “death game” with no brains is afoot and can he save his son
from death? The captives are being fed
nerve gas to impair their judgment and have to find a way to escape and find
antidotes before the gas makes them sick.
Of course, the film might just do that to you with any gas.
Of course, the sequel did some business, but not as much
as was hoped and part of the reason is that a golden opportunity to do a really
suspenseful, smart film with a smart script was skipped for more slick editing,
fast bucks, gross moments and mutilations.
This includes a twist ending that is an insult to the ticket/video buyer
that degrades what little the first film had going for it. Though not as outright depraved as Final
Destination 3 (2006) is as among the worse of the worse, it often comes
For one thing, it is one of those stupid sequels designed
to trick its audience in thinking they are smarter than they are by following a
formula that makes the sequel seem better than the original by cannibalizing
the first film in a way that allows audiences who think they are know it alls
to think they know it all. Also, the
film does set up a few moments of suspense, but the dark secret of al these
films is that they allow that suspense to be negated by a sort of “escape
clause” in which anyone (the majority who would pay to see this kind of
product) to switch to just waiting for the next mutilation instead of allowing
any suspense to challenge them. The
result is a tired mess that could have gone straight to cable, but has the
blood-soaked chic of the original being a moderate hit. That everyone is made out to be disposable
in the outset further verifies how cheap life is in these films.
The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is the
stereotypical kind with gutted out color, bad lighting, a dulled look and you
can always tell from the lack of Video Red.
Yes, that includes the color of the blood, which is always off-red which
makes the gore somehow more annoying because it is not as visually honest. The Dolby Digital 5.1 EX mix is the best
thing about this disc by default, though why it is not in DTS is odd. Extras include four featurettes (one lasts
only 3 minutes, so that term is being abused here), trailers for the theatrical
release and an audio commentary by Wahlberg, Beverley Mitchell and director
- Nicholas Sheffo