Review: SAW V (2008) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Review: SAW V (2008)


Believe it or not, despite all the low-point and haphazard entry of SAW IV (2007), which happened to be the weakest series yet, manages to make enough money to warrant not one, but two further installments reportedly to be shot back-to-back! With SAW III (2006) already running out of fume and SAW IV only make things obviously worst, it is inevitable that the never-ending SAW franchise continues to be the "dead-on-arrival" for the fifth installment.

After the event of SAW IV which ends up a surprise twist of Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) revealed as the third accomplice of the notorious Jigsaw murder games, he is now carrying the legacy of what the already-dead Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) has done before. All of Hoffman's FBI team are dead, while he's the only survivor who gets to escape scot-free and even make headline news for being the one who solved the Jigsaw murder case once and for all as well as manage to save a little girl in the process. But one thing he never anticipate that Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson) has somehow manage to survive the trap set for him. Hoffman knows he will be in danger unless he does something about it since Strahm is the only one who knows about Hoffman's secret. As the film progresses, the story weaves back and forth between past and present as Hoffman's past is revisited via flashbacks. It all begins with Hoffman's sister is brutally slained by a psycho killer who is later arrested and served imprisonment. But upon the killer's release, Hoffman wastes no time to execute him straight away with his grisly way of justice as he copycat the deadly method of Jigsaw game. The killer died terribly with a large pendulum crushed right into his stomach as he lied strapped down to a table. From there, Jigsaw knows about Hoffman and manages to convince him to join him as an accomplice, since both of them have the same deadly motivations to teach those undeserving people a deadly lesson about choosing between life and death. In the present, Hoffman has already set up a new game where five people, including real estate developer Brit (Julie Benz), are forced to be put through a series of diabolical tests in a chance of survival. And somehow these five people are connected in ways they do not yet know, and as usual, the rule of the game is that a single victim will be sacrificed until there is only one person left standing.

It's the same old story re-telling over and over again, and nothing really new is offered here. Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton's so-called complex storyline are so preoccupied with all the loose ends previously left hanging from SAW to SAW IV that whatever timeline the film offers here is no longer serves much as logical explanation.

This time, first-time director David Hackl, who was previously served as production designer for the middle three SAW films seems to be attempting more on developing characterizations than spending times trying to find new ways to scare the viewers with elaborate set of blood-and-gore. And speaking of gore, this installment is a total letdown. Sure, there are plenty of blood and gore but there are so unimaginative that neither are scary, disturbing nor feeling stomach-churning at all.

In the meantime, the cast are also forgettable. The less said about Tobin Bell's appearance as the now-pathetic Jigsaw the better, while the new villain in the form of Costas Mandylor doesn't look creepy enough to warrant him as such. As for the rest of the performances, all are just stock pile of cardboard cutouts.

And of course, no SAW films will ever be completed without the surprise twist in the end.... oh, wait! If you really buying the poster's tagline that proclaimed "You won't believe how it ends", I must say the filmmakers really outdoes themselves. Don't get me wrong, it's not because of good way to say that the twist is great but for the first time ever, the twist at the end of SAW V is hardly a "twist" at all.

And that obviously paved way for SAW VI... The biggest question now, when is the filmmakers going to nail the final coffin in this increasingly preposterous SAW franchise once and for all? Sigh.

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