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Saw II (2005)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Darren Lynn Bousman

Starring:
Donnie Wahlberg/Det. Mason
Dina Meyer/Kerry
Shawnee Smith/Amanda
Tobin Bell/Jigsaw
7 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Bitter cancer ridden serial killer Jigsaw (Bell) re-surfaces from whatever marble he was hiding under to play yet another round of his light hearted game of “How much blood will you shed to stay alive”? Feeling more ambitious this time around; he hits a double whammy, playing with a group of criminals trapped in a booby trapped house while having Detective Mason attached on his puppet strings (Wahlberg) via having kidnapped his son. Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock… the clock is ticking! Time to play!
THE LOWDOWN

Oh Yes, There Will Be Blood

Full Disclosure Thing: I have a tiny acting role in SAW 2 as the Video Techie (don’t sneeze or scratch your ass). But I believe that I am able to remain objective with this one, even with my minor link to the project. That is why I’m reviewing the film; otherwise I wouldn’t. It had to be said; let’s move on.

I was a huge fan and champion of the original SAW and I’ll be the first to admit that when I heard that a sequel was being prepped to be released only one year after the original; I was plagued with disturbing Nam flashbacks. Remember when the lukewarm Nightmare on Elm Street 5 was rushed out after Part 4 made so much money? How about when the ho hum Child’s Play 3 was spat our way in a jiffy after Child’s Play 2 hit Box Office gold? Yes, I feared the worst. Was SAW II also going to be a rushed, half baked effort, made to cash in on the first one's success? Well, now that I’ve seen the picture; I can finally answer that query; “no” it isn’t. It’s a quality heavy flick streamlined quickly to cash in on the first one's success. Nothing wrong with that!

SAW II was a relentless, enthusiastically directed and twisted little ditty that “Venus Fly Trapped” my privates at frame one and didn’t let go of them (poor boys) till the closing end credits. Just like any other good film, this continuation had a powerful weapon in its holster, one that Hollywood so often forgets to bring to the table when creating their “products” and that’s a strong screenplay. The bases were mostly covered in that department with riveting chain of events, a clever puzzle like nature when it came to its mind toying mystery, some heart (the Mason ordeal) and a near flawless juggling act in terms of the two main plot lines which were steamrolled forward simultaneously. To make matters much better; in the end, the flick brought all of it together with gusto, smarts and a couple of sly powerhouse twists in its trunk at that! I felt that! NICE! The same praise goes to the brutally amusing physical get-downs at play in this pen.Who wrote this stuff and who is their shrink? He should be fired and hired by me! Get ready for a hefty helping of inventive and mean spirited nastiness when it comes to the MANY kills in this bad boy. One magic “moment” in particular  (needles), actually had me squirming in my seat like a worm on two hooks. Good stuff!

Now being that this is a sequel, some of what made the original special was lost in the name of not fully repeating the first film while new goodies were gained. I particularly grooved to the “Hannibal Lecter/Clarice” like mental warfare Jigsaw and Mason shared. It made for a compelling listen/watch, was the soul of the film while acting as an interesting contrast to the more action oriented “in the house” shenanigans. The further exploration of my fav Bath Robe wearing killer’s psyche jazzed me as well! Although I craved more info (I still don’t know why Jigsaw is so freaking nuts!), the added insight was appreciated and went to prove me wrong. Knowing more about the lad didn’t make him less scary. Au contraire, I think I fear him more now! The guy’s off his rocker and then some! And did I mention the slew of tight references to the original SAW? Well I just did! On top of the growth of the Kerry (Dina Meyers) character and the kool re-inclusion of surviving Jigsaw victim Amanda (Shawnee Smith); the last block offered an awesome SAW Part 1 fanboy pleasing surprise (I won’t tell) that slapped a huge grin on my smug face. GOOD ONE! Lastly, yes, that creepy SAW doll made yet another chilling and RIP foretelling appearance. Who’s not happy? Love that tricycle! It so becomes the little bugger.

On the rusty side of the saw blade; since this sequel upped the ante on the formula of the original; we found ourselves with a lot more people to follow around. Say goodbye to the more intimate and character driven nature of the original that made me care so much and say hello to a semi surface and slasher like nature; namely when it came to the players locked in the house. Sadly the latter group was 85% despicable or/and whiny and they occasionally made the dumbest moves (Like gladly entering an oven within a house that everybody knows is booby trapped…duh!). To deepen the wound; some of the acting when it came to this lot was questionable in places. Result; .I didn’t root for any of them to make it out of that crib alive; I rooted for them to expire real freaking good. The upside is that, expire well they did. THANK YOU! Lastly; although the film’s slaying concepts were nifty, plasma heavy and deliciously appalling in places, the flick did occasionally shy away when it came to the “should be grisly graphic” payoffs. You see instead of showing us the coup de grace, they’d instead go into a frenzy of quick cuts to convey the end of the murder. Didn’t entirely work for me. And now that I think about it; there was actually one novel offing that began, drew red Karo to then never give us a true closing! Whatever happened to that character anyways? Only Jigsaw knows I guess…

When all was screamed and bloodied up though, SAW II lived up to its Daddy’s legacy when it came to an engaging storyline; potent surprises and sadistic ways of disposing of human waste. For better and for worse, where the first film was more of an evenly paced, character driven piece; this one moved fast, killed high and then killed some more! For those who thought SAW was too slow and low on casualties (I wasn't one of them), SAW II, its methamphetamine and bodycount charged little brother, should rectify that for ya! So you gonna saw off your foot? Your hand? Or your "BLEEP"! YOUR MOVE! LET THE GAMES BEGIN!

GORE
We get a head blown up (messy), wrist slitting, a nasty mishap with countless needles (Ouch!), a spiked bat in the cranium, a spike in the belly, skin cutting, a slit throat and lots of blood! Jigsaw wasn’t bullshitting; there was blood! Lots of it!
ACTING
Donnie Wahlberg (Det. Mason) played it smart; he underplayed it while displaying an endearing mix of toughness and vulnerability. Tobin Bell (Jigsaw) was mucho focused and controlled as the maniacal Jigsaw; lending the role ample believability in the process. I can’t imagine anybody else in the role! NOTE: Wahlberg and Bell wonderfully fed off each other; making their scenes together quite captivating to witness. Dina Meyer (Kerry) did what she had to do adequately most of the time, although I didn’t buy a couple of her “reaction shots” and wished she’d do more than stare at PC screens. Shawnee Smith (Amanda) was bang on in her role; selling it to the max. I’m so happy they brought her back and gave her more to do.
T & A
Dina Meyer kept it on….all on…dammit. I kept wishing for a gratuitous “Cop Locker Room” scene to kick in or something. Back to Starship Troopers and my trusty jar of Vaseline I go! NOTE: Will that Jigsaw doll ever take off his top?
DIRECTING
Although not as kinetic as the original, newcomer Darren Lynn Bousman injected enough dread filled mood, engaging cam movements, tension laced sequences and inspired angles (loved that under hand through the blood stained glass plate shot) to fill the bill! NOTE: Somebody needs to tell that editor to ease down on the quick cut madness a tad; some bits lost some impact since I wasn't given the time to fully register what I was seeing.
SOUNDTRACK
Saw composer Charlie Clouser comes through again with a down, dirty yet at times melodic score. Grade A!
BOTTOM LINE
Although it didn’t beat the original for me; this sequel still delivered the goods! It boldly unraveled its tale in a machine gun pace while bombarding us with f*cked up situations, fairly sick kills, sucker punching plot turns, fanboy pleasing nods to the first film and additional gripping insight in the grey matter that resides within Jigsaw’s skull. I will admit that meatier (and in places, smarter) characters, less quick cuts and further “in your face the whole way” gore would’ve made my day a better one, but that’s just me! With that said SAW II was a tight and entertaining sequel, one that thankfully left the oven door wide open for a Part 3. You know what, if they keep the Jig up at this level! Bring the SAW back! I’m game!
BULL'S EYE
The SAW II screenplay was sprung off a non-Saw script by Darren Lynn Bousman. He, Leigh Whannel and I hear even an uncredited James Wan worked the screenplay together and turned it into SAW II.

The film was shot in 25 days for a reported 4 Million clams in Toronto, Canada.

Look out for the "Last House on the Left" reference in the film.

Donnie Wahlberg will also star in James Wan’s follow up to SAW called SILENCE. He plays yet another detective.

READ ABOUT THE ARROW'S STINT ON SAW II HERE

READ PRODUCER GREGG HOFFMAN'S PROD DIARIES HERE

VISIT THE OFFICIAL SAW II SITE HERE

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9:26PM on 10/24/2010

Strong sequel is nearly as good as the original.

"Saw 2" was an surprisingly good sequel under the direction of first time director:Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw 3, Saw 4, Mother`s Day "2010").

The sequel has an good cast, Donnie Wahlberg is strong as the lead. But you also get to know the characters of "Jigsaw/John Kramer" played by Tobin Bell, "Kerry" played by Dina Meyer and "Amanda" played by Shawnee Smith.

Certainly more gorier than the original but the movie does have an clever finale. Also an cameo apperance by "Arrow" himself, John
"Saw 2" was an surprisingly good sequel under the direction of first time director:Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw 3, Saw 4, Mother`s Day "2010").

The sequel has an good cast, Donnie Wahlberg is strong as the lead. But you also get to know the characters of "Jigsaw/John Kramer" played by Tobin Bell, "Kerry" played by Dina Meyer and "Amanda" played by Shawnee Smith.

Certainly more gorier than the original but the movie does have an clever finale. Also an cameo apperance by "Arrow" himself, John Fallon doesn`t hurt either.
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5:44PM on 03/31/2009
The highlight of the film for me, story-wise, was all the badass Det. Matthews scenes.

Saw II made me respect Donnie Wahlberg big time.
The highlight of the film for me, story-wise, was all the badass Det. Matthews scenes.

Saw II made me respect Donnie Wahlberg big time.
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4:19PM on 01/21/2009
This movies ok, but it shifts more towards the gore than the story itself.
This movies ok, but it shifts more towards the gore than the story itself.
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4:28PM on 07/25/2007

Solid Sequel

I really enjoyed Saw II. I didn't think it was better than the first movie, but it was a great sequel that had solid acting (especially between Donnie Wahlberg and Tobin Bell) and a great twist at the end. My favorite part of the movie was when Amanda and Daniel opened the door to the bathroom from the original Saw. What a great nod to the previous movie. Good stuff.
I really enjoyed Saw II. I didn't think it was better than the first movie, but it was a great sequel that had solid acting (especially between Donnie Wahlberg and Tobin Bell) and a great twist at the end. My favorite part of the movie was when Amanda and Daniel opened the door to the bathroom from the original Saw. What a great nod to the previous movie. Good stuff.
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11:07AM on 04/10/2006
Don't go into this movie expecting Saw again because it's not happening. This movie takes the Saw franchise in another direction while still staying true to the initial idea. An excellent movie.
Don't go into this movie expecting Saw again because it's not happening. This movie takes the Saw franchise in another direction while still staying true to the initial idea. An excellent movie.
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10:07AM on 04/10/2006

Loved It!

I loved Saw 2, I think the reason I liked it so much is because there were more chatacter than in Saw, I liked the way there were quite a few people and you could at least sympathise with one. The Needle Pit and Hand Trap will stay wit me forever!
I loved Saw 2, I think the reason I liked it so much is because there were more chatacter than in Saw, I liked the way there were quite a few people and you could at least sympathise with one. The Needle Pit and Hand Trap will stay wit me forever!
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6:43PM on 03/27/2006

Good times

I didn't see the original cuz some asshole on a message board ruined the ending for me. I still refuse to see it for the sheer fact that the experience will not be what it should have been.

Having said that, this is one of those films that you don't have to see the first one to get the concept here or understand whats going on.

The story was good over all, most of the acting was on par and we do get some nice blood.

My only pet peeve was all the quick cuts. I felt like I was going
I didn't see the original cuz some asshole on a message board ruined the ending for me. I still refuse to see it for the sheer fact that the experience will not be what it should have been.

Having said that, this is one of those films that you don't have to see the first one to get the concept here or understand whats going on.

The story was good over all, most of the acting was on par and we do get some nice blood.

My only pet peeve was all the quick cuts. I felt like I was going to have a damn seizure.

Overall....good times.
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+0
12:50AM on 02/25/2006

NICE!

That ending pretty much ripped off my balls. Like, to little tiny pieces. OK, maybe not, but wow. Great to see that someone in Hollywood can still slap up an ending that is both surprising and actually makes sense within the story. Yeah!!!

On the whole, SAW II was an all-out fun and suspenseful ride, featuring more of the gruesome kills and more plot turns. Despite some of the paper-thin characters, the one that stood out was Donnie Wahlberg, who was very focused and offered a layered
That ending pretty much ripped off my balls. Like, to little tiny pieces. OK, maybe not, but wow. Great to see that someone in Hollywood can still slap up an ending that is both surprising and actually makes sense within the story. Yeah!!!

On the whole, SAW II was an all-out fun and suspenseful ride, featuring more of the gruesome kills and more plot turns. Despite some of the paper-thin characters, the one that stood out was Donnie Wahlberg, who was very focused and offered a layered performance, giving the film a level of emotional attachment. Nicely done!

Arrow--I saw you, bro!!! Way to go!!!!
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2:18PM on 02/01/2006

Saw 2

I loved the first Saw and during its theater run i read that they was gonna rush to make and release part 2 within a year so i'm like can it be a rushing success or a rushing failure?Well i'll be completely honest.....It was a masterpiece.I was in shock by how well they was able 2 do this in a year and make it work and how they explained all the twist's.Extremely well done!
I loved the first Saw and during its theater run i read that they was gonna rush to make and release part 2 within a year so i'm like can it be a rushing success or a rushing failure?Well i'll be completely honest.....It was a masterpiece.I was in shock by how well they was able 2 do this in a year and make it work and how they explained all the twist's.Extremely well done!
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1:28PM on 12/23/2005

whoa...really suprised!

I was so sure I was going to be let down by Saw II. But by God it rocked! It featured to same creepy look and vibe, great score, groovy traps, and one hell of a mean spirit (The needles and hand box scene had me squirming!) The charecters arent as in depth as the first because theres more of them, but that doest bother me. What really inthralled me was Jigsaw played by Tobin Bell. Talk about an uber interesting charecter. I was wrapped up in his presence every time he was on screen. The ending
I was so sure I was going to be let down by Saw II. But by God it rocked! It featured to same creepy look and vibe, great score, groovy traps, and one hell of a mean spirit (The needles and hand box scene had me squirming!) The charecters arent as in depth as the first because theres more of them, but that doest bother me. What really inthralled me was Jigsaw played by Tobin Bell. Talk about an uber interesting charecter. I was wrapped up in his presence every time he was on screen. The ending didnt punch my balls like the first. But still pretty damn clever! 3.5/4
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10:19AM on 11/05/2005

Great sequel

Loved this one more then the first Saw movie. REally good twists, nasty deaths, good suspence, interesting plot. What more could you want?
Loved this one more then the first Saw movie. REally good twists, nasty deaths, good suspence, interesting plot. What more could you want?
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10:53AM on 11/04/2005
I'm not, by far, the biggest fan of horror movies, but I thought the first Saw was original, scary, thought provoking, and a great suspense thriller. Its sequel is no different.

Saw II basically follows the same premise as its predecessor where a serial killer is tormenting/killing people in some pretty sick fashion.

The movie didn't have me jumping out of my seat, but it did make me squirm and gasp at some of the shocking visuals. It's a lot like the first in that sense.

I did
I'm not, by far, the biggest fan of horror movies, but I thought the first Saw was original, scary, thought provoking, and a great suspense thriller. Its sequel is no different.

Saw II basically follows the same premise as its predecessor where a serial killer is tormenting/killing people in some pretty sick fashion.

The movie didn't have me jumping out of my seat, but it did make me squirm and gasp at some of the shocking visuals. It's a lot like the first in that sense.

I did like the fact that this wasn't a remake of the original; instead it brought in a new story and a new way for our serial killer to torment his victims. He puts his "hostages" in a house and poisons them with a gas; he places antidotes throughout the house - booby-trapped of course and these victims have to figure out how to get them and get out without being killed. Good times.

I prefer this type of horror movie other than the supernatural ones where the killer always comes back from the dead. This is an original story, it has a good cast - lot of recognizable faces, it delivers a lot of shocking moments and like the first Saw, it has a pretty good twist at the end that should really come to no suprise to fans of the franchise.

(I also caught Arrow in the Head's cameo in the flick; I knew he had one, but had forgotted about it til I saw him pop up onscreen - great job!)


3/4
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3:33AM on 11/03/2005

SAW II DELIVERS!!

Wow! What a sweet sequel! Serious props to all involved. I loved the flashbacks to the original movie especially toward the ending which gave me the most intense adrenaline rush of any movie in years. I especially liked how SAW II opened Jigsaw's world to us and really added depth to his character, something I craved after viewing the original SAW. A great ending and compelling action. If you were a fan of the original and haven't seen part II, you're missing out big time. Oh yes, there will be
Wow! What a sweet sequel! Serious props to all involved. I loved the flashbacks to the original movie especially toward the ending which gave me the most intense adrenaline rush of any movie in years. I especially liked how SAW II opened Jigsaw's world to us and really added depth to his character, something I craved after viewing the original SAW. A great ending and compelling action. If you were a fan of the original and haven't seen part II, you're missing out big time. Oh yes, there will be a sequel!!!
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12:49AM on 10/29/2005

Awesome

I just got back from seeing this and it was fucking awesome. Every death in this movie was like a kick in the groin, it was painful. I loved the nods to the original Saw and the ending once again kicked the shit out of me.
I just got back from seeing this and it was fucking awesome. Every death in this movie was like a kick in the groin, it was painful. I loved the nods to the original Saw and the ending once again kicked the shit out of me.
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2:41PM on 10/28/2005

AMAZING!

This movie was amazing to say the least. Most reviewers have said it isn't as smart as the first one. I disagree. Sure it doesn't have the same effect since it's a sequel, and to be honest it did start to get a little redundant toward the end. However, I feel the twist had me seriously about to cream my pants. This is the first movie to ever confuse me on the twist ending. I've never been stumped before and this one gripped me by the balls and gave me a big "f you!" Plus once I saw Arrow I
This movie was amazing to say the least. Most reviewers have said it isn't as smart as the first one. I disagree. Sure it doesn't have the same effect since it's a sequel, and to be honest it did start to get a little redundant toward the end. However, I feel the twist had me seriously about to cream my pants. This is the first movie to ever confuse me on the twist ending. I've never been stumped before and this one gripped me by the balls and gave me a big "f you!" Plus once I saw Arrow I shouted "YEAH!!!" in the theater. I thought Saw II was awesome!!!
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