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Saw V (2008)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: David Hackl

Starring:
Costas Mandylor/Mark
Scott Patterson.Agent Strahm
Tobin Bell/Jigsaw
Julie Benz/Brit
5 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
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.
THE LOWDOWN
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?
GORE
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.
ACTING
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.
DIRECTING
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.
SOUNDTRACK
Charlie Clouser’s score felt more subdued than usual but I guess it did the trick.
BOTTOM LINE
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.
BULL'S EYE
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

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10:28PM on 09/05/2010

I enjoyed it.

Perphas the least respectable to the "Saw" movies to some degree. But i thought this was better than "Saw 3" and "Saw 4".

I had an good time watching Costas Mandylor playing the villian. He`s good in a underrated part. Tobin Bell shines as usual in flashback as Jigsaw/John Kramer. Julie Benz and Greg Bryk are the stand-out as the victims.

I thought "Saw 6" is the most underrated of the series and i can`t wait to see how the last "Saw" movie will end. I am hoping, it will do well at the
Perphas the least respectable to the "Saw" movies to some degree. But i thought this was better than "Saw 3" and "Saw 4".

I had an good time watching Costas Mandylor playing the villian. He`s good in a underrated part. Tobin Bell shines as usual in flashback as Jigsaw/John Kramer. Julie Benz and Greg Bryk are the stand-out as the victims.

I thought "Saw 6" is the most underrated of the series and i can`t wait to see how the last "Saw" movie will end. I am hoping, it will do well at the box office, since "Saw 6" made little money at the box office.

"Saw 5" certainly looks great on Blu-ray. For the die-hard fans only.
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10:11PM on 08/31/2009
I am so sick of this overrated franchise! It has been done to death now and now it's becoming pointless and boring. There is no likable person in this entire movie and no suspense anymore, just routine crap! The only thing that they always get right is the gory kills, which is always inventive but is always wasted in these movies because without it it's a bore. I always hate the filming in these movies to the quick scene changes and movements,to the slow motions that turns into quick motions,
I am so sick of this overrated franchise! It has been done to death now and now it's becoming pointless and boring. There is no likable person in this entire movie and no suspense anymore, just routine crap! The only thing that they always get right is the gory kills, which is always inventive but is always wasted in these movies because without it it's a bore. I always hate the filming in these movies to the quick scene changes and movements,to the slow motions that turns into quick motions, it's just all annoying and does't let you have time to take it all in. I gave it 3 stars because it was slightly better than the 4th one and the first two, but Saw 3 is the best one of them all if you ask me. Overall if they are going to continue with this tired series think of something new to bring to the table, make it more scary and suspenseful and not just rely on the gore scenes, if you don't you're just in it for the money and don't care about making a good horror flick. Rental!
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+0
11:35PM on 01/07/2009

Worst movie I've seen since Saw 4 and until Saw 6

Let the rant begin.

No, these sequels are not part of an intricate web. They're part of the process of milking a cash cow, which they do with minimum effort by going back to see which bits of the previous movies could possibly be stretched out some more.

Balboa6 - yes they should have just ended it, way back after Saw ONE. And YES, they should have left questions unanswered. That's what a good movie does; it leaves some things to your imagination rather than assuming you want every last
Let the rant begin.

No, these sequels are not part of an intricate web. They're part of the process of milking a cash cow, which they do with minimum effort by going back to see which bits of the previous movies could possibly be stretched out some more.

Balboa6 - yes they should have just ended it, way back after Saw ONE. And YES, they should have left questions unanswered. That's what a good movie does; it leaves some things to your imagination rather than assuming you want every last thing spelled out (in crayon). Answering every question is what's ruined these movies - the more they tell us about Jigsaw, his life and his motives, the less interesting they make him.

As for the plot making sense, actually NOTHING in this movie made sense, unless you assume that all the characters are so spectacularly deficient that their IQ would be a negative figure, assuming they could even write the test without killing themselves by paper cuts through their sheer stupidity. What do I mean? Well, Hoffman was unbelievably dumb for being that easily brainwashed (at least Amanda had the excuse of being traumatised by her Jigsaw test), Strahm was unbelievably dumb for walking into a trap that I saw coming before the movie even started, and his boss was unbelievably dumb for being tricked into suspecting him. I mean, HOW did Strahm become the number one suspect? Because of his phone left on a desk!? What exactly would be his motive (as opposed to Hoffman's honking great big motive which was somehow missed by EVERYONE except Strahm?)

The lack of anyone with half a brain cell is one of the big problems with this movie (albeit one of a very long list which I can only begin here). There's just no-one here to root for. I enjoyed watching Danny Glover as Tapp in the first movie; I sympathised with him and felt bad when he bought it. But after Mark Wahlberg's brother, Rigg and all the other cops/agents in these movies, I'm sick of watching people who are not characters but simply schmucks who run cluelessly into traps, and die with absolute inevitability - bye bye any trace of suspense there. The same goes for all Jigsaw's test subjects, who are absolutely guaranteed to die (unless they're another of Jigsaw's inexplicable production line of accomplices).

So with no interesting hero, we'd usually root for the villain - except here you can't, because Jigsaw is dead and Hoffman is so completely lacking in charisma, motivation or any kind of interesting characteristics whatsoever. Costas is clearly wrong for the part - he doesn't look smart enough, psychotic enough or self-righteous enough to be another Jigsaw - but that's not his fault, since the part is a ridiculous one which only exists to keep dragging the Saw brand on and on (and on and on and on).

Yes, I watched Saw 5, but I'm glad to say I did so without paying a penny. Why am I being a gaping asshole and saying this with pride? Because it means I am not contributing anything to sustain this tedious franchise. I watched this one to see if the series could get any worse. I'll watch Saw 6 too, for the same reason - if they can make it even more of a turd, I will be genuinely impressed.
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4:14PM on 11/03/2008

SAWing in the Right Direction!

I did not like Saw IV at all. It was less like a horror movie and more like a TV crime drama with more gore. I thought the series had jump-, er, sawed the shark. I wasn't expecting much from V.

So how surprised was I? Very! I liked Saw V quite a bit. The 5-person trap was cool; reminiscent of Part II, and something a bit different was definitely needed at this point. The plot made sense. V has less of the quick-cut editing style that gets so annoying. The only thing I didn't like
I did not like Saw IV at all. It was less like a horror movie and more like a TV crime drama with more gore. I thought the series had jump-, er, sawed the shark. I wasn't expecting much from V.

So how surprised was I? Very! I liked Saw V quite a bit. The 5-person trap was cool; reminiscent of Part II, and something a bit different was definitely needed at this point. The plot made sense. V has less of the quick-cut editing style that gets so annoying. The only thing I didn't like was the abruptness of the ending. Any kind of denouement was missing (obviously just cut for either the extended DVD or the opening of Part VI). It certainly wasn't cut for pacing, as this film moves along at a quick pace (something that IV, despite being structured like an extended chase, didn't do).

Overall, I recommend it (and I'm looking forward to the next one, which I wasn't at this time last year).
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5:15PM on 10/28/2008

To Balboa6

And as usual someone doesn't get that SAW was supposed to be stand alone. So Dr. Gordon's initial fate was that he DIED in that room - bled to death. After Part 1 made so much dough, the sequels kicked in and they've been making it up as they go along since. It is also to note that Part 3 was supposed to be the LAST SAW film, but again, money talked, hence they continued anyways.
And as usual someone doesn't get that SAW was supposed to be stand alone. So Dr. Gordon's initial fate was that he DIED in that room - bled to death. After Part 1 made so much dough, the sequels kicked in and they've been making it up as they go along since. It is also to note that Part 3 was supposed to be the LAST SAW film, but again, money talked, hence they continued anyways.
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+0
11:04AM on 10/28/2008

Ending it at 3

As usual someone makes the comment that it should have ended at 3. Okay so say they ended it at 3. Leaving so many unanswered questions. What happened to Dr. Gordon? What happened to Detective Matthews? What happened to Jeff's Daughter? What happened to Jeff? What was the significance of a NUMBER of things? Just end it right in the middle?
As usual someone makes the comment that it should have ended at 3. Okay so say they ended it at 3. Leaving so many unanswered questions. What happened to Dr. Gordon? What happened to Detective Matthews? What happened to Jeff's Daughter? What happened to Jeff? What was the significance of a NUMBER of things? Just end it right in the middle?
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+0
3:06PM on 10/27/2008

weakest instalment yet

WEAK film, Saw is too complex of an idea to keep re enterpreting, if it would have ended at 3 it could have been a great trilogy. but after an ok part4 and a horrible part 5, this franchise is done creatively and is just tryin to bank Halloween dough. This film was a rip off in a sence that it was half prequal and half set up for part 6, wich left it lacking its own agenda, The only thing I want to see 6 for is to find out what was in the box jigsaw left his wife in his will, other wise give me
WEAK film, Saw is too complex of an idea to keep re enterpreting, if it would have ended at 3 it could have been a great trilogy. but after an ok part4 and a horrible part 5, this franchise is done creatively and is just tryin to bank Halloween dough. This film was a rip off in a sence that it was half prequal and half set up for part 6, wich left it lacking its own agenda, The only thing I want to see 6 for is to find out what was in the box jigsaw left his wife in his will, other wise give me an origianal halloween horror film, cuz Saw is done
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1:07PM on 10/27/2008

Once again

Your views pretty much echo mine, Arrow. I still felt entertained and this is still go in my Saw collection when it comes out, but you're right, the magic of the first three is gone. And I hope they stop at 6, because this series is not like the Freddy and Jason movies. Those we can expect them to just hack up unsuspecting teens and enjoy it, but Saw IMO is more like a thinking man's slasher movie, but if they were to continue I gotta feel it would be the opposite.
Your views pretty much echo mine, Arrow. I still felt entertained and this is still go in my Saw collection when it comes out, but you're right, the magic of the first three is gone. And I hope they stop at 6, because this series is not like the Freddy and Jason movies. Those we can expect them to just hack up unsuspecting teens and enjoy it, but Saw IMO is more like a thinking man's slasher movie, but if they were to continue I gotta feel it would be the opposite.
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12:38PM on 10/27/2008

Not really looking forward to 6.

*Possible Spoiler*

The one thing about the Saw franchise that keeps me coming back for more is the twist ending always making you wonder what's going to happen in the next one. Saw V didn't have that. If you call the final room Agent Strahm and Mark were in when crap goes down a 'twist' then I saw that coming from the time Strahm played the tape. There was nothing to make me want to see the next one.

If anyone can clarify this for me, then please. Tell me what from the movie leaves you
*Possible Spoiler*

The one thing about the Saw franchise that keeps me coming back for more is the twist ending always making you wonder what's going to happen in the next one. Saw V didn't have that. If you call the final room Agent Strahm and Mark were in when crap goes down a 'twist' then I saw that coming from the time Strahm played the tape. There was nothing to make me want to see the next one.

If anyone can clarify this for me, then please. Tell me what from the movie leaves you wondering what is going to happen in the next one. Besides the group of people in their game and no clear cut explanation on what happened, nothing was shocking or leaving me in suspense. Saw V was bland and uninspired.
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12:37PM on 10/27/2008

ON PRINCIPLE

On principle, I'll watch it because the SAW franchise has maintained a (fair) consistency compared to many series of the same genre. Regardless... go Costas (you under-utilised, Down Under born, Melbourne wog-boy legend) !!!!!
On principle, I'll watch it because the SAW franchise has maintained a (fair) consistency compared to many series of the same genre. Regardless... go Costas (you under-utilised, Down Under born, Melbourne wog-boy legend) !!!!!
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+0
11:11AM on 10/27/2008
Good review, but I just have to say that sometimes going backwards is the best way to go forward. These films make up a complex, intricate web and it is (if you'll forgive the pun) like a jigsaw puzzle, so each film advances a little and also takes us back and reveals new things to us which contribute to the advancement of the story. Kind of the way Lost (the tv show) works in a way. To each their own though. I personally loved it and am incredibly excited for next year's finale. Only a few
Good review, but I just have to say that sometimes going backwards is the best way to go forward. These films make up a complex, intricate web and it is (if you'll forgive the pun) like a jigsaw puzzle, so each film advances a little and also takes us back and reveals new things to us which contribute to the advancement of the story. Kind of the way Lost (the tv show) works in a way. To each their own though. I personally loved it and am incredibly excited for next year's finale. Only a few more things need to be revealed (mainly the fate of Dr. Gordon, which of course will be in the sixth one).
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