Saw II (2005)
Genre: Crime Drama Horror Thriller
Starring: Tobin Bell (The Quick And The Dead; Black Mask 2: City of Masks), Donnie Wahlberg ("Band Of Brothers"; Sixth Sense)
Directed By: Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw III)
Overview: In this sequel to Saw, Jigsaw is up to his old tricks and traps again, this time with a house full of victims.
Acting: Take a wild guess. We have a jacked-out, pumped-up, steroid-laden rage case, the token black dude, the freakish lanky quiet guy, the ditzy blonde and the Mexicano Chicana. As if you're even here for the acting, you're here to watch them die and that's what you get. Ok, ok, ok, Donnie's fine.
Cinematography: Gore, gore, bloodspray, gore, bone chunks, fiery flesh and um... splatter! This is pretty. They even had some really professional camera work and artistic special effects, they seem to actually use light meters, there's no boom mikes in the shots... It's like someone actually PAID to make a pretty movie! Wow! Oh and there's gore. Lots of it. I'm talking eyeballs! Oh yeah!
Script: In all honesty, a little thin, a little weak, a little trite, a little too transparent. Sure, there's some family conflict and inter turmoil but this collection of characters is actually quite stupid. I don't care how low their education was, there's no better word than 'Stupid' to describe how they interact. Maybe their upbringing was different than yours or mine, maybe they were selected for this test because they were 'lesser beings' but don't make me swallow that bitter pill, thank you very much.
Plot: Remember the Horror movie where there's a guy killing people and only one person can save them or watch helplessly as they all die? Off the top of my head I can't either, but this totally tributes that. Not only do we have a group of people that may be able to save themselves, but we have a deeper, more philosophical plotline that involves the cop trying to save his son, one of the victims, by trying to reason with the baddie. Not only that but there's a nice little lead-in to the sequel and a pretty cool twist.
Mood: There is a problem however. If any of you have ever seen Cube, you'd know that regardless of the characters, the traps and clues don't change. This film, however, depend too greatly on the mad mindset of one particular character. Had they acted sanely, they may have brought about a different conclusion, yet this unpredictable soul needed to be just so for this to end properly. For banking too much on someone's madness, this loses points. Otherwise supercool.
Overall Rating: 76% (Sure, I'd See It Twice...)
Aftertaste: So it looks like this is going to be at least a trilogy and hopefully the next new endless series of this generation's permutation of the Slasher Flick. And you know, Slasher Flicks suck. It's all about a guy slashing someone else to death in one fell swoop. There's no drama, there's no sense of adventure, it's just doop-de-doop-de-doo...DEAD. This way, not only are there cool traps and clues to maybe survive, but when people DO die, it's this elaborate machination of mechanical engineering, which is totally cool. And better than Valentine, who just goes around stabbing people. How lame.