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Full Disclosure Thing: I have a tiny acting role in SAW 2 as the Video Techie (donâ€™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 Iâ€™m reviewing the film; otherwise I wouldnâ€™t. It had to be said; letâ€™s move on.
I was a huge fan and champion of the original SAW and Iâ€™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
Childâ€™s Play 3 was spat our way in a jiffy after Childâ€™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 Iâ€™ve seen the picture; I can finally answer that query;
â€śnoâ€ť it isnâ€™t. Itâ€™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 â€śVenus Fly Trappedâ€ť my privates at frame one and didnâ€™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 â€śproductsâ€ť and thatâ€™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 â€śmomentâ€ť 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 â€śHannibal Lecter/Clariceâ€ť 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 â€śin the houseâ€ť shenanigans. The further exploration of my fav Bath Robe wearing killerâ€™s psyche jazzed me as well! Although I craved more info (I still donâ€™t know why Jigsaw is so freaking nuts!), the added insight was appreciated and went to prove me wrong. Knowing more about the lad didnâ€™t make him less scary. Au contraire, I think I fear him more now! The guyâ€™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 wonâ€™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. Whoâ€™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 trappedâ€¦duh!). To deepen the wound; some of the acting when it came to this lot was questionable in places. Result; .I didnâ€™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 filmâ€™s slaying concepts were nifty, plasma heavy and deliciously appalling in places, the flick did occasionally shy away when it came to the â€śshould be grisly graphicâ€ť payoffs. You see instead of showing us the coup de grace, theyâ€™d instead go into a frenzy of quick cuts to convey the end of the murder. Didnâ€™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 guessâ€¦
When all was screamed and bloodied up though, SAW II lived up to its Daddyâ€™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!