If you haven’t read the previous review, you might not understand what I’m talking about in this one! Click the link at the top!
Saw II continues the legacy of the “Jigsaw” killer, but this time instead of a single room entrapping two guys, there is a whole house full of victims. As the setting expands so does the story. A new cop is introduced, played by Donnie Wahlburg (Blue Bloods), who finally catches up to Jigsaw but also learns his son is involved in the deviant’s newest trap. A race begins to interrogate Jigsaw before the cop’s son ends up dead.
The film opens with a solid trap scene. A man, played by Noam Jenkins (the voice of Aiden Pearce in the very decent video game Watch Dogs)has a key buried in his face and must cut it out to turn off the menacing machine around his neck. Forget what happens next, I’m still hung up on how irritating it would be to have something surgically installed behind my eye, let alone having to dig it out! Right off the bat, Saw II ups the ante of shocking set pieces, showing that the stakes will only be raised further from here on out.
The hell house is filled to the brim with creative traps that zero in on each of the trapped people individually. They are exposed to a virus that starts to slowly kill them, so they are forced to run through the mansion like rats in a maze to find vials of the cure. Meanwhile, the cop gets handsy with Jigsaw as he tries to find some kind of clue to save his son.
Once again, the twists are plentiful, but more so towards the end. Despite only half of the original creative duo remaining on board (Leigh Whannell), the story doesn’t skip a beat, being tied in to the first one more than you would think. Shawnee Smith (Anger Management, Becker) returns as Amanda, this time with a larger role and is subjected to one of my favorite traps in the entire series. After all of my keeper’s experiments, poking and prodding, I have developed a needle phobia.
While it is a great way to continue the story, Saw II falls short of its glorious predecessor, if by only a small margin. Something about having the main victims freely roaming the halls of a spacious house takes away from the simplicity of the first film’s depressing derelict bathroom scenes. Also, the acting quality takes a hit with too many newcomer no-names clogging up the works. Saw II proves to be a worthy sequel but not a high point for the series.
4 nasty needles out of 5