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SAW V, 2008
Movie Reviews!

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SAW VV MOVIE POSTERSAW V, 2008
Movie Reviews

Directed by David Hackl
Starring: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson, Betsy Russel, Julie Benz, Meagan Good, Danny Glover, Laura Gordon
Review by Andrew Kosarko


SYNOPSIS:

Continuing on with its story despite the death of namesake killer Jigsaw in the third installment, SAW V concerns itself with detailing who will carry on with his bloody work. Director David Hackl, the production designer on the previous three films, retains their familiar charnel house look. Though there are fewer grisly death sequences, faithful viewers will enjoy the creative plot twists. The film opens with a man strapped to a table above a pendulum. As the sharp blade begins swinging over his stomach, he has only a minute to stop it by inserting his hands into a device that will crush them. When the machine malfunctions, it's clear that it wasn't the work of the meticulous Jigsaw. Meanwhile, FBI Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson) continues the investigation he began in the previous film, only to wake up to find himself wearing a glass helmet filled with water. With a minimum of self-mutilation, he escapes and continues his investigation with the hunch that Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) is somehow involved in the new rash of killings. Before long, a new group of strangers wakes up in Jigsaw's lair to face a series of brutal tests, and Jigsaw's ex-wife, Jill, is given a mysterious box at the execution of his will.

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REVIEW:

Make no mistake, this one sucks. I hate this one. I cannot stand it. The main reason? The lack of a likable protagonist…or antagonist for that matter. Yes, Bell is here in dew drops, but for the most part Detective Hoffman is running the show this time around…or well, running from Detective Strahm. And Strahm himself is annoying and somewhat of an asshole. He’s like a wannabe Patrick Warburton. That’s what really “urks” me.

The Story: This go around the story drags and the B story really has absolutely nothing to do with the A story in the end. All of the prior films structured the plot together so that everything worked out together in the end, making the film as a whole a separate entity. This time, the movie is like 2 episodes of a TV show cutting back and forth. One with a bunch of people in a house…eh hem…ripping off the 2nd film, and the other half with Strahm needlessly trying to find evidence to convict Hoffman of the murders. And we don’t care about the people in the house or the investigators or the killer. This is the one that really drops the ball in terms of characterization and pacing.

Acting: The problem is there’s no “goody goody” this time around. There’s two macho monkeys against each other and then a house full of annoying stupid people all out for themselves. Yes it’s SAW. Yes, it’s a horror movie. But there is no one in the film to identify with or root for. It’s as simple as that.

Directing: Hackl was the production designer on the prior films. How that qualifies one for directing is beyond me. While he does a fine job aesthetically of keeping continuity with the franchise, just about everything else falls short…way short.

Cinematography: Again, maintains the look and grit of the films leading up to it.

Production Design: Obviously looks good seeing as the production designer now became the director. I’ll say it again = continuity: check.

Editing: Pacing is slow. I said in my last SAW review about how well structured these films are. Not this time. Too slow and too boring. I don’t care about anything going on in any scene. That’s how much I struggled to get through this movie. Even Bell’s moments are cut down and not all that involving.

Score: The plot, performances and editing are all so boring you can’t help but notice when it comes on. Which means the score is fine, but the rest of the film is hurting because you *are* noticing it.

Special Effects: Again….stop with the CGI. I beg of you.

In closing: This movie is like Rocky V. It doesn’t count. You really could just watch the last 10 minutes and then be good to watch the next film. There’s nothing of substance or value to the overall franchise that makes this movie worth seeing. Actually, matter of a fact, just ask someone around you how it ended (if they can stand to remember) and then just watch the next movie.

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