U.S. Theatrical Release Date: October 28, 2005
U.S. DVD Release Date: February 14, 2006
Tagline: "Oh yes... there will be blood!"
Saw II continues in the tradition of it's predecessor by chronicling the deadly games devised by 'Jigsaw', to test those that he views as 'morally bankrupt', and to see what measures these people will take to save their own lives.
'Jigsaw' (Tobin Bell - 'Stargate-SG1', 'The X-Files') is an obviously deranged yet brilliant man named John Kramer who, through elaborate schemes and devices that he has created, forces his victims to either do harm to themselves or to each other.
Though labeled as a serial killer by the Authorities, he himself never kills his victims.
The first five minutes of this film are truly gripping and set the tone for things to come. A police informant awakens to find himself clad in only boxer shorts, sitting on a chair in a filthy, nearly empty room. Affixed around his neck is a spring-loaded 'Deathmask' designed to snap shut, driving steel spikes into his skull if he cannot unlock it in time. He has been provided with a scalpel and a clue as to where the key to unlock the unsprung mask is hidden on his body.
Detective Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg - 'Band of Brothers') is a hard-boiled cop who is down on his luck through his own poor choices. He is divorced due to his having an affair with his ex-partner, referred to only as Kerry (Dina Meyer - 'Star Trek:Nemesis'). This in turn creates friction between he and his troubled son Daniel (Erik Knudson). Combined with an already overwhelming case load, this is one man who is struggling to not hit rock-bottom.
Reluctantly, Detective Matthews is called to a crime scene where things look all too familiar, except for the message scrawled in blood on the ceiling which states 'Look Closer Detective Matthews'.
Accompanied with a SWAT team, Matthews and Kerry quickly track down and apprehend 'Jigsaw'. Perhaps far too easily. It is here that they discover a room full of video monitors which show eight people including Matthews son and a woman named Amanda (Shawnee Smith - 'Saw', 'The Island') a survivor of a previous 'Jigsaw' game, incarcerated at an undisclosed location.
The hostage group has been exposed to Sarin gas and the 'game' is on. Their goal is to try to gain their freedom while avoiding a variety of torturous 'booby-traps' and searching for antidote filled syringes hidden at various points in this 'House of Terror'.
As the captive group is rapidly dispatched one by one by gruesome means (the 'Hand' trap, the 'Needle pit', the 'Furnace'), Detective Matthews and his team can only view the monitors in horror as they await a 'tech team' to pinpoint the source of the video feed.
Will Matthews find a way to save his son and the survivors. Or will 'Jigsaw's' deadly traps eliminate the hostages before the ultimately fatal gas does.
The DVD is presented in a 16x9 Widescreen 1.78:1 screen format, with 5.1 Dolby Digital EX Sound. Optional English Closed Caption and English and Espanol Subtitles are available.
The DVD Extra Features include...
- Audio Commentary with Director Darren Lynn Bousman and Actors Donnie Wahlberg and Beverly Mitchell
- Jigsaw's Game
- "Bits and Pieces" - The Traps of SAW II
- Storyboards and Conceptual Art Gallery
One very nice story twist near the end, but a climax, that you could really see coming, the stage is set for 'Saw III' (already in pre-production), and a new horror film franchise is up and running. And this one will probably have legs enough to go the distance.
RATING: 4 'Nasty, Used Syringes' out of 5
TITLE: Saw II (2005) - STUDIO: Lion'sGate - MPAA RATING:'R' (for Grisly Violence and Gore, Terror, Language and Drug Content) - RUNNING TIME: 93 Minutes - STARRING: Donnie Wahlberg, Shawnee Smith, Tobin Bell, Dina Meyer - DIRECTED BY: Darren Lynn Bausman
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