Back into the the Saw franchise, we hop into its direct sequel, Saw II. Where can the film go from the ending of the first? Thats pretty hard to see. Saw II has changed hands to a new director, Darren Lynn Bousman who is pretty green with this being its second full length feature. He however does take the reins for the next two. At least Leigh Whannell is still on as co-writer.
Lets check it out.
Saw II (2005)
Director (&co-writer) : Darren Lynn Bousman
Cast: Tobin Bell, Donnie Wahlberg, Shawnee Smith, Erik Knudsen, Dina Meyer, Franky G, Lyriq Bent
A detective and his team must rescue 8 people trapped in a factory by the twisted serial killer known as Jigsaw.-IMDB
Saw II is a peculiar direction to take. This time, Jigsaw is tracked down by the police and his only request is to have a talk with Donnie Wahlberg’s character, Eric Matthews whose son was kidnapped. As with most Jigsaw games, there is a countdown and this time, the time is ticking on the screen that is projecting where his son is cooped up with a few other people with different backgrounds. However, the familiar face appears here as we see last movie’s escapee, Amanda Young yet again be captured. The countdown turns out to have many meanings however, its main one is that Jigsaw says there is a toxic gas in the air that will kill them all if they don’t escape. The story and concept of this one seems a little cliche at parts and even if this is just the second film, the audience is pretty much smarter than the cast itself however, the true game and tension is in Jigsaw and Matthews chat. Saw II is really average however, the ending does have some clever twists, mostly in the finale.
Its important to talk about the characters here because when the movie finished, I had to think about certain characters and whether it was because the character is written dumb or the acting was lackluster. Perhaps it is the fact that now there are so many more players in Jigsaw’s game that the immersion is stripped from their importance or just our lack of connection to these characters. It sucks that they are in this situation but the key is why are they there more than who they are and even the minute chance that they will escape. Lets just face the fact here. A lot of the characters here engaged in petty arguments and deliberate prejudices and it lacked that natural flow of character development that the first had. The only one we needed to care for was Matthews’ son and Amanda Young. It turned its focus on the contraptions that the characters has to deal with related to their crime that Jigsaw had drawn out for them than the story itself. I honestly don’t believe the Saw was in its spectacles even in the first one. The direction definitely leaves something to be desired. The character that I really disliked the most was somewhat of the “villain” of the whole situation played by Franky G and somehow maybe its because he did capture the role correctly even if it was a very uninspired character.
The joy of Saw was in its disturbing mind games and the psychological factor that it had. Sure, it was messed up in whatever Jigsaw contraption because of its extremity however we can already see in Saw 2 that in the hands of someone else the tone has shifted. Even the script is much weaker. The whole experience was still entertaining however it was more in the conversation between Eric Matthews and Jigsaw more than the 8 characters suffering the ordeals in a mystery location that needed to be saved. While the ending twist was quite clever, it didn’t help that getting there wasn’t quite as innovative.
A true shame that we can already see the slow demise of the franchise in this sequel. Maybe, it’ll come back in the third? We can only see since this one ended on somewhat of an open ending.
Have you seen Saw 2? Thoughts? Did you like it more or less than I did?