Saw V (2008)
Director: David Hackl
Scott Patterson.Agent Strahm
Jigsaw copycat Detective Hoffman (Mandylor) covers up his tracks in terms of the game he played in Part 4 while having a new death match going on for a group of hapless twats.
After the serviceable SAW IV, I can’t say I was too primed for this follow up. The series lost something crucial when it fairly capped off its main storyline in Part 3 and in my pointless opinion, it will be near impossible to ever regain that “magic” again. So how’s SAW V ya rambling f*ck you may ask? Here we go!
It made for an okay time waster, no more no less. The nicest thing I can say about the film was that it kept me entertained. The pace was easy, the traps decent (if not a stab uninspired; we’re at Part 5 now – they’re running out of ideas) and Costas Mandylor had his game on as Jigsaw’s successor. To be honest, he was probably my favorite thing in the film. His quiet yet intense demeanor really worked for me and so did the film’s further exploration of who he is, where he came from and how he fits within the whole. He’s starting to come into his own as the key villain of the franchise and if they’re smart – they’ll slowly let go of John as Jigsaw (lets face it his story is done) and embrace Hoffman 100%.
Even though I kind of had enough of going back in time in terms of this
franchise - the flashbacks on hand did hit the spot for one reason; it gave us
our dose of Tobin Bell owning again as the original Jig. No matter how I feel
about the validity of old Jig in Part 5, its always a treat to witness Tobin
Bell do his thing. Finally, although far from heavy-hitting, the ending tagged with the “Hello Zepp” ditty ringing in did have me smile from ear to ear. It made for a groovy way to end the film.
Where SAW V let me down BIG TIME was in its story. The main plot line just wasn’t that interesting; it unraveled, with little obstacles/stakes, I watched it, it ended – game over. Suspense was also lacking, something that I usually feel when watching a SAW flick. And don’t get me started on the cut way “group of peeps caught within a trap” narrative line which felt too much like Part 2 but with
zero-dimensional characterization, INCREDIBLY annoying players and a clumsily
conveyed/damn boring mystery as to the "connection" between them all. They
really half cocked this one, VICTIM should've been stamped on their foreheads,
cause that's ALL they were. Shit, at a certain point, I even forgot that the subplot was part of
the film until it popped back up. It was THAT memorable. Add to that a more flat
than the SAW norm visual style, a randomly slap dashed structure (film was occasionally all
over the place – I actually got lost a few times as to where/when I was) and our bland hero’s grating knack of thinking out loud (i.e. explaing the obvious to the audience - Agent Strahm sucks
- I said it) and you get the lesser of all the SAW films.
So you STILL wanna play a game?
Do I even have to answer this one? It’s the SAW franchise yo! For the un-initiated – flick was gory as hell and I’ll skip the details in the name of not spoiling the traps.
Costas Mandylor (Mark) had the presence, intensity and skill to make for a captivating villain in his own rights. Scott Patterson (Agent Strahm) did what he had to do fine, but his character bored and irritated me. Tobin Bell (Jigsaw) shined once more as the Jig with the most. Julie Benz (Brit) gave a credible show. Too bad that lousy haircut (most likely a bad wig) almost upstaged her. Meagan Good (Luba) looked great and did fine but at the end of it – not much of a part.
T & A
How you can have Meagan Good be overly dressed in a movie is beyond me.
Although the flick sported a couple of inspiring moments (the ending kicked my butt visually) and that it retained the SAW feel for the most part – it was somewhat too “point and shoot” for my liking (not kinetic enough) and tension was sorely lacking.
Charlie Clouser’s score felt more subdued than usual but I guess it did the trick.
This franchise is now officially running on the fumes of the first 3 films and that needs to change. Granted SAW V amused me none the less, sported some slick gore and a cool villain in Costas Mandylor but other than that, the story was pretty stale, the “folks fighting a trap” subplot weak, the structure sometimes awkward and it often felt like the flick was just going through the motions.
If you ask me (and nobody did), in order for this franchise to keep going; they have to LET GO of the first four films already and reboot a new storyline with Mandylor as the main villain. Time to stop going backwards and start going forward full speed ahead. Otherwise, there won’t be much left of the dead horse they’re beating by the time Part 6 ends and Part 7 begins.
The screenplay was written by Patrick Melton &
Marcus Dunstan (SAW IV and Feast).
This is David Hackl's directorial debut. He was Second Unit Director on SAW 3 and 4 and was Production Designer: on SAW 2-3-4 and REPO!
VISIT THE OFFICIAL SAW V SITE HERE