Saturday, October 29, 2005

Saw 2

As a big fan of the first film I was looking forward to this one even though I knew nothing about it until a few weeks back when I saw a poster of 2 dismembered fingers on a bus. With it being Halloween weekend it made sense to go and see it. Surprisingly it's the only horror film out this weekend which is a little disappointing. We clearly don't celebrate this event anymore.

For those that didn't see the first film, a cancer racked, serial killer called "Jigsaw" kidnaps people and puts them into a series of games which they must escape or they die. It was cleverly written in that the serial killer was picking bad people and making them appreciate their lives more and for this reason you could sympathise with him putting the people through the games. It also had a clever twist and didn't follow the Hollywood cliche of having the baddy die at the end.

The sequel sees more of the same and this time we have 8 people trapped in a house from which they must escape or they'll succumb to a nerve agent that is being pumped into the building. Elsewhere Donnie "New Kid on the Block" Wahlberg plays a cop who finds Jigsaw but can't take him into custody when he discovers his son is one of the people trapped in the house.

There are some ingeniously designed games around the house that offer an escape from the nerve agent in the form of syringes of serum. The games include looking for a key in a pit full of syringes (ouch!) or having to climb into a cremator. If they only offered these games in Big Brother, that show would be a lot more entertaining.

Some clever interplay between the cop and the killer leads us to a conclusion that offers similar surprises to that of the first film. There are also some nice references to the first film, which would be lost on people who haven't seen the first. Although I did manage to guess one of the twists I was still caught out, and in hindsight it is quite obvious what is going on. As with the first film the clues are there if you pay attention.

The acting is a little better this time around but with so many characters in the house it is difficult to sympathise with the majority of them, partly because there isn't enough time to fill the characters out but more importantly because the strongest character in the film is Jigsaw who is elsewhere. Wahlberg does alright as the cop, and for those of you who remember him in Sixth Sense you'll be pleased to hear he has been eaten a few pies since then and is looking normal again. (Speaking of eating pies, Val Kilmer seems to have eaten quite a lot in prep for his new film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang). The first film made a lot of a clown mannequin which really added to the Jigsaw character. It isn't used as much this time round and this is a shame, as it does add a creepy look to the film.

I hear there is a part 3 already in the making. I'm really enjoying the franchise and can't wait to see where it goes.
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