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MSRP: $28.98
RUNNING TIME: 92 Minutes
Traps Featurette
Jigsaw’s Game featurette
Feature Commentary
Props Featurette
Storyboard-to-screen Comparison

The Pitch

"Hey Jim, I really got my eye on that new yacht, we got anything we can fast-track to make a few bucks?" "Ummm…that Saw movie did some decent numbers, we can throw a sequel together." "Brilliant! Do it as quick as possible!"

Franky’s first mistake was not recognizing OG Bobby Johnson. His last mistake? Not caring.

The Humans

Donnie (Not the Good) Wahlberg, Beverly (7th Heaven) Mitchell, Tobin (Jigsaw) Bell, Shawnee (Needed a paycheck) Smith, Franky G (Wonderland), Dina (Point Pleasant) Meyer, Emmanuelle (One Tree Hill) Vaugier & Glen (A whole lot of stuff) Plummer

The Nutshell

Jigsaw’s up to the same old shit, this time kidnapping nine people and leaving them in a big house full of nerve gas. Only, to make the story a little more convoluted, one of the victims is a cop’s son, and even though the house is full of people who have done bad stuff it’s the cop who is the main player in John’s new game.

At the premiere, Shawnee saw the complete movie for the first time. This was the inevitable result.

The Package

Keeping in line with the release of the original, a clear slipcase houses a clear amaray case. The Saw Logo and the two fingers are printed on the outer cover while the inner case shows off the sawblade design on the disc. I liked the look of the original (and really liked the blood-soaked SE) and while this is technically the same design, I hate the two fingers as it seems like such a corny giggle from the Marketing folks.

The look and the sound are actually quite good (maybe too good). It’s a really dark movie and the blacks and dark colors are even and crisp and everything that’s supposed to pop does. Same with the audio as the sound design is very good and the score, while a little screechy and overstated, fits the film quite well and sounds really great coming out of your 6 speakers.

Second thoughts!
It wasn’t until he was on set that Donnie realized he’d made a mistake. Could his agent get him out of it?

For the bonus material there’s some cheesy featurettes that serve really no purpose and then there’s the commentary. I enjoyed this commentary – a lot. You have Bousman, who just loves the movie he made and can’t stop patting himself on the back and, really, who can blame him? A first-time director has this virtual bank account of a movie thrown in his lap? I’d be excited too (although I’d try really hard to make a better film, but I digress). You also have Wahlberg who is obviously embarrassed about his participation in the film and even though he throws compliments when he needs to, he doesn’t hesitate at all to slam his character, or the script, or the film itself. Then there’s little Beverly Mitchell, who actually tries to point out every "fuck," proud of herself for not having said it. She’s also the source of the mundane set anecdotes that really aren’t funny but she’s really making the effort to fit in here. I actually felt bad for Beverly. You can tell she’s a little on the, for lack of a batter word, prudish side, and these two guys didn’t care. Jokes about rape and female genitalia are scattered all through this thing and even though she laughed you could just picture her kind of shying away. Great stuff.

The Lowdown

I liked the first Saw. It’s not my favorite film by any means but I enjoyed it. It’s one of those movies that had ambition and I was willing to give it an A for effort. There was this great concept and, yeah, even though the execution did sort of screw it all up, I was able to appreciate what they were trying to do. I know I’m in the minority on that and that is okay by me.

Bad news!
Awww. Guess not.

So, needless to say, when Saw 2 was announced I was interested…until I saw the trailers, and the casting, and that damn finger poster. See, with all the problems the first had, it still felt like an independent movie. Saw 2? Reeked of the studio. Everything was pre-fabricated. Everything had this feel like it was written by a group of suits. The dialogue was so generic, the set pieces too grimy, the transfer too glossy. It’s like a Hollywood movie that tries to look like the gritty exploitation films of the past, but doesn’t know how to not shine it up. And the characters? I know a lot of people didn’t like the two leads in the first, but at least you were supposed to. You were supposed to feel for those guys and care what happened to them. The 9 housemates? Assholes. All but two of them. They were fodder. They were set up to be killed, and that’s fine, as long as you kill them good. Which they didn’t do. There were a couple of the trademark "traps" set up, but they were incredibly lame. Well, except for one. The needle pit actually made my skin crawl and thumbs up to Shawnee Smith for really selling that. That little scene was what this movie could…no…should have been.

Saw 2 is a movie that is nothing more than a studio’s attempt to cash in as quick as they could on a successful property and subsequently ruin it in the process. The opening scene tells you that. And given the twist at the end (also lame), they set this thing up to be beaten to death like the Freddys & Jasons before it. Worthless.


Oh, and one final thought, in the commentary, Bousman spends a couple of minutes talking about how much Last House on the Left was an inspiration to him. What I want to know is how can someone name-drop one of the most brutal films ever made as an inspiration for one of the lamest, non-gore movies ever made? Did he not watch it after he made it? There was more blood in the last 10 minutes of House than there was in the whole of Saw 2. "Oh yes, there will be blood?" Bah.

3.0 out of 10
(just for the commentary)