Saw II

Saw II
Studio: Lions Gate Releasing
Rated: R
Release Date: 2005-10-28
Cast: Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Donnie Wahlberg, Erik Knudsen, Franky G
Director: Darren Lynn Bausman
Screenwriter: Darren Lynn Bausman, Leigh Whannell
WorkNameSort: Saw II
Our Rating: 2.50

This is the story of seven strangers picked to live in a house … but only for a few hours, thanks to inhaled poison that's rotting their bodies from the inside. The quickie sequel to last year's Saw takes that movie's satire of Survivor-era unhelpful cohabitation back to its origins in The Real World, putting a squabbling septet of kidnapped housemates through lethal time trials while a personally invested detective (Donnie Wahlberg) fights to save them. The movie is better acted than its predecessor – which isn't exactly a tough contest to win – but lacks coherent sadistic ingenuity. This time, the logic behind much of villain Jigsaw's scheming falls apart on first pass, instead of unraveling in your head while you're driving home from the theater. Though the sequel (directed by Full Sail grad Darren Lynn Bousman) has its moments of fun and surprise, it essentially fumbles Saw's motif of reasonable men pushed to shocking extremes – as when one of the kidnapped guinea pigs proves to be a self-interested sociopath who needs little outside prodding to make life miserable for his unfortunate roomies. Hey, he must be Puck!


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