does essentially the same thing that the first one did, but not as well. both films exhibited a fairly impressive use of red herrings. more to the point – both films distract you by intentionally placing plot holes which make you think that you are more intelligent than the film. fittingly, this is exactly what the protagonist in this film is going through.
donnie wahlberg (a poor man’s mark wahlberg) is the protagonist – a cop who catches the jigsaw killer, but not before he sets into motion one more diabolical scheme of which wahlberg is a victim. his partner, who has studied the work of the jigsaw murderer, acts as the voice of reason while wahlberg plays the out of control cop with old school methods. all this is worsened by the fact that his son is another victim of the jigsaw murderer’s latest scheme.
like the first one, it was occasionally over-directed. i’m not a huge fan of the rapid cuts accompanied by sound effects and crunching guitars. more than anything it comes off as a contrivance. that said, there is a gritty feel to the direction which works well with the material. perhaps the best part of the film, outside of the story, are the great set pieces. the various contraptions and puzzles that they come up with in the film are not only diabolically clever and evil, but also intellectually interesting. this is one reason why these films work so well – they appeal to both sides of the brain at the same time. you’re scared and freaked out, but you’re also thinking about how you would get out of the situation. this carries over to the very premise of the entire film – a terminally ill man setting up situations which force you to choose life or death. like tyler durden, the jigsaw killer makes you face death in order to make you appreciate life. while his ability to envision and carry out these schemes is scary, you also sorta appreciate what he is trying to do. like ghost dog the jigsaw killer feels that facing one’s own mortality is an integral part of living life to the fullest; and i agree.
there are certainly some weaknesses to the film. i’m sure that upon careful inspection i would find some plot holes. i didn’t especially care for some of the direction, dialogue and acting. but most of this is forgivable because the set pieces are creative, the story is good and the underlying philosophy is intriguing.Watched in theater