Saw 2

2006-07-12 17:14


"Hello, Michael. I want to play a game..."

Jigsaw is back. The brilliant, disturbed mastermind who wreaked havoc on his victims in Saw has returned for another round of horrifying life-or-death games. When a new murder victim is discovered with all the signs of Jigsaw's hand, Detective Eric Mathews (Donnie Wahlberg) begins a full investigation and apprehends Jigsaw with little effort. But for Jigsaw, getting caught is just another part of his nefarious plan. Eight more of his victims are already fighting for their lives - and now it's time for Mathews to join the game.


In a world saturated by violence, both on and off screen, most of us have become pretty numb to the casual brutality of horror or slasher films. We've seen so many cheerleaders decapitated and so many unsuspecting cops turned into chop suey that most people hardly bat an eyelid. So it takes something very special - or perhaps very awful - to shake us out of our complacency.

Last year's Saw was just that sort of movie. The violence had a toe-curlingly awful creativity about it. It grabbed hold of our over stimulated sense of horror and made the terror seem fresh. It may not have been pleasant or edifying, but it was well crafted and highly effective. Saw II, on the other hand, goes right past "effective" and into "nauseatingly unwatchable".

The main problem is that Saw II has no sense of restraint or subtlety. Saw may have been gory but, like the classic Texas Chainsaw Massacre, much of the horror came from suggestion, not from the gore itself. We never actually watched Cary Elwes saw his foot off - knowing it was happening was enough. There is no such pussy-footing around in Saw II. We see every detail of the gore in graphic close-up, often from several different angles. The effect is like watching a car wreck - thrilling but also utterly sickening.

There's no doubt that the horrific tortures dreamed up by Jigsaw (and by implication the screenwriters) are creative. At one point a character is thrown into a pit of used hypodermic syringes and forced to root around in them - a scene of such unspeakable visceral horror that most people have to look away. The question is who on earth really wants to watch this happen in high-definition slow motion? To make matters worse the violence is almost entirely gratuitous - helping no-one and serving no purpose except to horrify.

The nausea might have been somewhat mitigated if the rest of the film were intriguing or well crafted. But violence is the only original thing in Saw II. The acting is so laughably bad that the B-grade cast can't even stumble around convincingly. The scripting is equally awful, making the substandard cast look even clumsier. Even the plot - with its supposedly "shocking" twist - is far inferior to the compact complexity of the first film.

But by far the worst aspect of the filmmaking is the visuals. Director Darren Lynn Bousman tries his utmost to ape his betters, cribbing most of his camera techniques and effects from David Fincher films like Se7en and Fight Club. In his hands however, these techniques cease to be effective and become distracting and eventually irritating. There's not a two minute stretch in the whole film that Bousman hasn't "sexed up" with badly executed jump cuts, swirls and wooshy sound effects.

Perhaps we should blame ourselves for the emergence of films like Saw II. As films have become more and more gratuitously violent, we have become more and more difficult to shock. Whatever Hollywood may be, it is first and foremost a business. If we refuse to watch this kind stuff, they will stop making it. So do the world a favour - don't go and see this film. Do if for the sake of the movie industry's hordes of underappreciated dramatic filmmakers - none of whom will get a word in edgewise while trash like this continues to sell. Hell, do it for the sake of your stomach, it will definitely appreciate not being put through this kind of torture.

- Alistair Fairweather

Saw 2 drags filmmaking to new lows with ham acting, shoddy writing and buckets of gratuitous gore. This isn't cinema - this is 90 minutes of nausea.

Amanda 2006/01/18 9:20 AM
The first one was 10 times better There's so much gore that I kept my eyes closed for about 20 minutes. And unlike the first movie, there is no build-up of suspense or frights, just blood and guts. After half an hour, you simply don't care what happens anymore. Donnie Wahlberg, the ex boy band member, is particularly awful as the macho cop with a beer boep. Mindhunters is better than this (and it's a Renny Harlin film!)
Hanni 2006/01/18 9:33 AM
Ms Totally grotesque, even the technical part was lower than poor. I will NEVER allow my 14 year old daughter to see it.
Hanni 2006/01/18 9:34 AM
Ms Totally grotesque, even the technical part was lower than poor. I will NEVER allow my 14 year old daughter to see it.
Jean 2006/01/18 11:04 AM
urk The first movie was awful. I thought at the time it was a vaguely meaningful meditation on torture and so on. If this is worse, it's more likely teh series is merely the product of a society so calloused by violence that we should really be worried. In this vein? Seven, I guess.
ludo 2006/01/18 12:06 PM
kinders ? hanni ek hoop jy bedoel dat jy nie jou dogter na so 'n fliek sal neem wanneer sy die ouderdom is wat haar dit toelaat nie, en nie dat jy dit oorweeg het om 'n kind van 14 jaar na so fliek toe te neem nie. Die feit dat kinders sulke vertonings kyk is een van die redes wat maak dat Hollywood flieks maak wat al hoe meer en meer grafies geweld en wat ook al nog probeer uitbeeld net om 'n effek by die mense(kinders) te probeer kry.
MpHO 2006/01/18 2:12 PM
OH! NO......!!!! Who paid for this movie????? Have they NO sense at all??? Heavens Forbid . . . .!!!!!!!
Vernon 2006/01/18 4:50 PM
Each to their own I dont feel that these reviews are just. Surely if the release date is only in two days time, a more accurate "review" would be conducted after the majority have had a chance to pass fair comment? Some people are making comments based on what others have said... I dont see the point in having this "review" until next week this time.... Anyhow, each to their own. Happy viewing
ANDRE 2006/01/18 7:04 PM
Anonymous 2006/01/18 7:45 PM
Saw2 I think that the gore is a bit much but the film was absolutely brilliant. It was so origonal with random events occuring throughout th entire film. All horror and gore fans like myself will enjoy it!!!
Pierre 2006/01/21 12:37 PM
Saw 2 It was BRILLIANT
Rome 2006/01/23 7:39 AM
SAW2 People who don't like horrors should not go watch this.This was a good movie.The twists was new,and the horror original.They must get a guy like that to sort out all of SA's murders,rapists,and child molesters. Sin City
Clinton palmer 2006/01/30 8:23 AM
SAW II - Based on previous reviews I read the movie was not as gory or revolting as I expected. Sure there was blood and some scenes were quite gruesome, but overall the movie actually had a pretty good storyline as far as horror-type movies go. Once again the twist at the end was unexpected and leaves the option of a SAW III open, which I will definitely go and see as well. A big YES to fans of this genre
Oompie 2006/01/30 8:20 PM
SAW II This is a movie you will either like or will not like- I LOVED IT ! LOOKING FORWARD TO SAW II. By the way- did any of you guys notice that there's no saw what so ever anywhere in this film? SAW II, The Pianist
Clinton 2006/01/31 11:01 AM
To Oompie There was a saw when they went into the room for Saw I. It was lying on the floor. Granted though it did not play any role inthis movie, and would only have been of significance tothose that saw the first movie. Anyway maybe the movie should actually be pronounced "Sore"as those deaths look really Eina.
bhavy 2006/07/30 9:10 PM
saw2 saw2 saw2
Jigsaw 2006/09/29 3:29 PM
lel cry me a river ! 0h, saw its to much violent. really no comments for your lame text, don't like , don't watch it.
AJ 2006/11/24 6:44 PM
yuck Unbelievable that people make and actually watch this film. A lecturer at the filmschool I attend used this as a reference for something or other. As soon as the title sequence started, myself and about half the class got up and summarily left. What in the name of everything NICE was the point of this film?
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