The first movie I ever reviewed for the Collegian was the first "Saw," exactly one year ago this weekend. I had been looking forward to that flick for months upon months and when it finally came out no terrible acting could stop me from deeming it the best movie I'd seen in years. Then I watched it again on video, and holy cripes, did I ever eat my words. Sorry if my poor advice made you run straight to the ticket booth with wallet spread eagle, I won't let it happen again.
The second installation of a probable "Saw" multi-tiligy, "Saw II," picks up where the first one left off with a man sporting the hot new look for Halloween, a mask around his neck waiting to annihilate his face when the attached timer deems necessary. Brutal.
The discovery of his body leads detective Eric Mason, played by Donnie Wahlburg, straight to the Jigsaw killer himself. Everything doesn't go exactly smooth, as in the room adjacent to Jigsaw is a pile of television screens broadcasting feed of a group of folks in a house full of booby traps with no way out.
Upon noticing his son among the group with only two hours to live before a nerve agent turns them into goo, Detective Mason will stop at nothing to crack the case.
The acting was actually pretty decent and there was no Carey Elwes faux-British accent lurking in the shadows this time around. Wahlburg serves his family name well and delivers quite the I'm-the-biggest-Ahole-cop/dad-in-town performance of the holiday. His son Daniel, played by the up and coming Erik Knudsen was also really good, reminding one of Danny from "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," with his polite and quiet demeanor.
It's 99 percent certain that the writers sat around one late night dreaming of the most gruesome, demented, torturous, fist balling, teeth grinding, toe curling ways to inflict pain and death on the human race. Then they spread them out on the table, picked an order of occurrence and built the crappiest, hollow, shallow and emotionless plot they could to take up the necessary space. They even tried to get you to feel bad for Jigsaw, delving into his past and presenting the worst ever motive for his wrong doings. If you're going to try and rip off such a great flick as "Seven," at least do it sort of discreetly. Some of Jigsaw's lines even sounded like they were pulled straight from the screenplay.
Another thing that ticked me off was how they tried to pull off the same chaotic editing effects they did in the first installment. It was cool in that one, but this time they kicked it up a notch attempting to spawn epileptic seizures with hard rockin' tunes blaring while some poor sap gets their hands chopped up in an acid-trip of psychotic-ness. What do you expect, after all, it has only been one whole year since the first one came out. Quantity not quality is the problem here me thinks.
If all you care about is seeing horrific expressions and screams and clenching your teeth until they snap, there may be a couple scenes worth your wallet. If a barren desert of a plot drives you nuts, however, save yourself the bother and just skip the flick and check straight into the hospital.
2 out of 5 ram heads.