Saw II (2005)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Add to Collection
Sign up to add this to your collection
Add to Favorites
Sign up to add this to your favorites
Overall Rating 65%
Overall Rating
Ranked #574
...out of 14,068 movies
Check In? Sign up to check in!

Connections: Saw

Detective Eric Matthews, along with fellow police officers and a SWAT Team, locate Jigsaw's lair and go to arrest him, but discover that his arrest is only a part of Jigsaw's plan. Matthews soon learns that eight people are trapped in an old house and are playing one of Jigsaw's games. One of them is his own son, Daniel Matthews. Eric learns that if he wants to see his son again, he must play one of Jigsaw's games as well. --IMDb
Review by bluemeanie
Added: November 04, 2005
Here is an excerpt from my review of the original "Saw" back in October of last year, just to give you an idea of how much I disliked that particular picture: Watching "Saw", I got the feeling that James Wan was wanting to show us how far people would go to save their own lives. Alas, he did not pull it off. He did, however, manage to show us how irrational, ridiculous, and utterly nonsensical people can be when their lives are on the line. In short, "Saw" was just a meaningless culmination of ideas from films like "Seven", "Silence of the Lambs" and even "Copycat". The film was not terrible in its execution, but I did not enjoy it, though I was determined to give the sequel a chance, seeing as how a new director was on board, an almost entirely new cast, and a different visual style. And, while "Saw II" turned out to be leaps and bounds better than the original film, that doesn't mean very much on the whole, considering how much I disliked the original. Both of these films could really stand alone individually, though the references in the new film to the original were charming enough, in their own way. "Saw II" is one of the most gruesome and violently twisted horror films of the year...but not one of the best.

The Jigsaw Killer, played with gusto by Tobin Bell, is back again, this time focusing his attention on Detective Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg), a formerly corrupt cop who has tried to go straight for the sake of his son, Daniel (Erik Knudsen). When the Jigsaw Killer lures Matthews and and his men to his warehouse of horrors, they soon realize he is playing a game with all of them as they find monitors showing an assortment of individuals trapped inside a house, one of those individuals turning out to be Eric's son, with whom he parted ways aggressively days before. We switch then to the people in the house, who are told they are breathing in a deadly nerve agent that will kill them if they do not find either the antidote of the key that will get them out of the house. We switch back and forth between the detectives at the warehouse trying to convince Jigsaw to give up the whereabouts of the house, and the people inside the house trying to find their way out before the nerve gas takes it toll. One of the people inside happens to be Amanda (Shawnee Smith), the only one to escape Jigsaw in the original film. So, in many ways, "Saw II" is very much like the first film, but in terms of style and execution, they are worlds apart.

A film like "Saw II" relies on a number of things for effect. For one, each piece of the Jigsaw Killer's puzzle has to be more intelligent and more seemingly obvious than the one before. When he tells the people in the house that the combination to the lock on the safe is in the back of their minds, we somehow find it shocking when it is revealed that the numbers are actually tattooed on the backs of their necks. This is what separates "Saw II" from the other films of the genre. This film also relies heavily on the level of suspense and paranoia inside the house, and "Saw II" handles that much better than the original. Each new room of the house holds a more hideous secret than the one before, and as Jigsaw himself says, "Oh yes, there will be blood", and he certainly isn't kidding. We see everything from someone take a mace to the back of the head, to a man burned alive, to someone dying from a horrific and realistic seizure. At times, the violence almost gets a little too much to bare, as when Shawnee Smith's character is thrown into a pit of syringes. Ouch. I remember cringing the entire time she was down there. Maybe that is what this film wanted.

As for the performances, the one thing that made the original "Saw" so unbearable for me was Cary Elwes' ridiculous breakdown at the end of the film. I remember laughing in my seat, and still laugh every time I think about -- it might be the worst case of a great actor doing a terrible job that I have ever seen. In "Saw II", we get some very good performances, likely better than we or the film deserve. Donnie Wahlberg is very convincing as Detective Matthews and he works quite a bit of emotion for one of the worst written roles of the year. Beverley Mitchell from The WB's "Seventh Heaven" also does a good job playing the hysteric. The standout here, however, is Tobin Bell as Jigsaw. He is given so little screen time in the original, we kind of don't think of Jigsaw as a human being. Here, we certainly do. We see everything from his going to Dr. Gordon's office to be told he has terminal cancer, to the ill fated suicide attempt that started him down his sinister road. Even though he was trying a little too hard for that Kevin Spacey "Seven" killer mode, he managed to deliver one of the best villainous performances of the entire year.

On the whole, "Saw II" was an entertaining gore fest, but nothing more. It was a nice little distraction from the string of art-house superb's that I have seen over the past couple weeks. "Saw II" reminded me that they have the 'R' rating for a reason, and I cannot stress enough how you should keep your impressionable teenage punk boys at home for this one. However bad the film was on the surface, it did something that very few films are able to do -- it out-bested the original. I am not going to make a reference to "The Godfather Part II" or "Terminator 2: Judgment Day", because I do not want to put this film on the same level as those, but I will compare it to films like "Troll 2" and "Critters 2". "Saw II" is not one of the best films of the year, and not even one of the better, but it was more entertaining the original and that has to count for something, even if it is close to nothing. Take it or leave it.

Review by Chad
Added: February 23, 2006
I try to avoid re-reviewing movies on this site unless I strongly disagree with the review that came before mine, and seeing as how you're reading this review right now, I'm going to guess that my reasoning for this review should be pretty obvious. The review below mine does a good job of detailing the plot behind this movie, so I'm going to skip right on over that part of my review and get straight down to business.

First of all, I enjoyed the original Saw; as a matter of fact, I gave that movie a perfect score, something that is fairly rare for me. I reviewed a grand total of 193 films last year, and out of all of those, only 11 pulled a 10/10 rating from yours truly. What made Saw work out so nicely in my eyes was the originality and the ultra-creative traps devised for the humans to stumble across. Note that when I say the movie was original, I'm referring to the movie as a whole... I am fully aware that some scenes pulled some "inspiration" from other films, but all in all, the movie brought enough original ideas to the table that I could overlook all of that. And besides, name one movie that is completely original in every last shot of every last scene of the running-time; it's surely not impossible, but it's definitely going to be difficult, especially in the world of horror.

So, with that said, I was quite excited when the inevitable sequel was announced last year, but I wasn't expecting a masterpiece. After all, the sequel was announced something along the lines of a few weeks after the original opened in theaters, and a new director was brought on board to shoot a script that was originally written to be a stand-alone film. It's extremely rare for a sequel to live up to the original, and with these strikes against this particular sequel, I wasn't expecting a great film. I expected to be entertained, but really... who goes to see Movie Part Two expecting it to be as good as or better than the original? What I got from this unrated DVD was not a perfect film, but it was certainly an enjoyable entry in this series which I expect will spawn another sequel or two.

One of the complaints I read about this movie dealt with it simply retelling the storyline from the first film with more characters and such. While that is true to a point, I think that a sequel should stick pretty close to the original, or else, you find yourself in a situation akin to the Blair Witch films where the sequel keeps the core ideas but is otherwise a completely different film. For the record, I did enjoy that particular sequel, but it could have been so much better had it stuck with at least some of the things that made the original so successful. My point here is that viewers watch this movie with the expectation of traps, gruesome deaths, and uncovering more about this Jigsaw character; therefore, you do have to stick to most of the main ideas behind the original. Yes, there are people stuck inside of a locked room (or house in this case), and indeed, they do have to make gruesome decisions if they want to escape with their lives... but this is where the similarities end.

I do agree with the review below mine about the Jigsaw character. Tobin Bell did a damned nice job portraying the character, and I also enjoyed getting more back-story behind the man instead of the overly-simple approach that the first movie took. The only thing I didn't enjoy about this movie were the twists at the end. Yes, this movie has two twists, and no, I'm not going to spoil them here. It works out a little something like this: near the end of the film, it switches back and forth between characters, and the first group encounters the first twist of the film. This one was decent enough... it seems as though it was tacked on just to have a twist for the sake of having a twist, but it wasn't completely horrible. It certainly doesn't come close to comparing to the huge twist from the original, but again, I wasn't expecting something that would outdo that. After this is revealed, the movie switches over to another character who encounters a twist of his own, and this is the one that ends the movie. This particular twist was obviously inserted to set up a third entry into the series, and while it does a good job of that, it felt very out of place and left a lot of unanswered questions. I can't nitpick this too much without giving it away, so I'll leave it at that... but I trust that you readers will see what I mean when you watch the movie.

Is Saw II a perfect film? No. Was it one of the best films of 2005? No. Was it a damned entertaining film, and will fans of the original enjoy it? In my opinion, yes. This review represents my opinion of the film, and obviously, I disagreed with the reviewer below. Of course, there are no "right" and "wrong" opinions when it comes to films, so read through a few of his reviews and then read through a few of mine. Figure out which one of us you tend to agree with more often and go with that review when deciding whether or not to plunk down your cash for this viewing, be it a purchase (recommended) or a rental. 8/10.
crAckerr #1: crAckerr - added 11/04/2005, 04:38 PM
i thought it was a greatn movie, definately better than the orignal...5/10 is under-rating it, i'd say 7/10

it is what it is
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added 11/04/2005, 07:03 PM
I thought about giving it a 6/10...I really did, but 7/10 would have been pushing it, I think. It was, essentially, the same film, redone by a different director. Sure, the new guy did it better than the old one, but I can't give that high a rating to a film that does the whole "Ring Two" thing.
crAckerr #3: crAckerr - added 11/05/2005, 05:32 PM
ya good point..i guess it depends on what your looking for...it was better than i expected
Symx #4: Symx - added 11/10/2005, 01:51 AM
cky2kendall #5: cky2kendall - added 02/23/2006, 04:59 PM
I very much looked forward to this movie. Saw was one of the best horror movies of late (Although the lack of real competition might have helped it along), and brought forward the desire for all-out gore to the mainstream.

Sadly, Saw II doesn't deliver on the same level. It feels rushed, and after the success of the gritiness and plot-weaving of the first film, this one is essentially a slasher movie. Sure, they are all in the house, but it subtlely turns into that kind of movie. And aside from that needle scene (Quite possibly one of the most disturbing things I've seen in a movie), this offered little new ideas. The ending was always bound to happen, and the characters felt too distant, something I look for in characters in horror movies. This feels churned out and just a cheap carry of the title Saw. 3/10
bluemeanie #6: bluemeanie - added 02/24/2006, 02:23 PM
Actually, if you will notice -- my review above and the other review are very similar. They are actually almost identical. The only difference is that my rating system seems to be a little different. But, essentially, these reviews both indicate that "Saw II" is a flawed, but entertaining motion picture.
Edd #7: Edd - added 02/24/2006, 11:36 PM
Bluemeanie, stop being a whino and defending your oppinion against every little person that disagrees with you.
bluemeanie #8: bluemeanie - added 03/07/2006, 06:09 PM
What's wrong with defending your opinion? What's wrong with citing examples as to why your opinion is valid? Nothing. And, a 'whino' is an alcoholic.
Ashlee #9: Ashlee - added 04/24/2006, 03:36 PM
This movie was sick and twisted, but i couldn't stop watching it, it got your attention
I'd give it a 8/10
Crispy #10: Crispy - added 10/28/2006, 10:15 PM
That's a wino. But it's specifically someone who gets drunk of wine.

"I saw a wino eating grapes. I said "Dude, you have to wait."
Nirrad #11: Nirrad - added 09/27/2007, 09:18 PM
I personally think that this is the worst of the three movies. I'm not saying it bad though, considering it's a sequel it's pretty good. I thought most of the traps were great, and some parts had me at the edge of my seat, but I didn't like the Slasher-like feel to it. give this movie 7/10, I enjoyed watching it and I will probably watch it numerous time, but the slasher feel kinda turns me away.
danimigra #12: danimigra - added 03/15/2008, 05:59 PM
The first one is so far the best one..!!!
Lucid Dreams #13: Lucid Dreams - added 10/06/2010, 02:27 PM
Just like the first one, but instead they are in a house. It wasn't horrible and I was entertained at least, but I'll never watch it again. 6/10
Sign up to add your comment. Sign up to add your comment.
Recommended Movies Show More?
Saw Saw III Saw IV Saw V Saw Saw: Rebirth Spiral Saw VI Saw: The Final Chapter Mother's Day Jigsaw Catacombs Borderland Penny Dreadful The Purge: Anarchy The Purge: Election Year The Purge Dread
Layout, reviews and code © 2000-2023 | Privacy Policy
Contact: Join us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Review Updates