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  Publicity Stills of
"Saw V"
(Courtesy of Shaw)

Genre: Horror/Thriller
Director: David Hackl
Cast: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Patterson, Betsy Russell, Mark Rolston, Carlo Rota, Julie Benz, Greg Bryk, Laura Gordon, Meagan Good
RunTime: 1 hr 35 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: R21 (Violence and Gore)
Official Website: http://www.saw5.com/

Opening Day: 30 October 2008


In the fifth installment of the "Saw" franchise, Hoffman is seemingly the last person alive to carry on the Jigsaw legacy. But when his secret is threatened, Hoffman must go on the hunt to eliminate all loose ends.

Movie Review:

It’s getting stale. I had enjoyed the previous four Saw movies so far and each of those movies had something intriguing or exciting that kept me looking forward for the next one. In an ironical fashion, Saw V’s faithfulness to the formula was what made this movie felt tiresome.

Basically told in the same Saw movies structure, we get painful introduction and a couple of plots going on concurrently. What is different here is that the manner that the story unfolds itself and the editing of the concurrent storylines were not done in a very engaging fashion.

As usual, one of the plots involved some detective works trying to figure out the jigsaw’s grand plan and another main plot would be victim(s) that trapped in playing Jigsaw’s deadly game. The latter felt like a bloody gruesome edition of the reality TV show Survivor that was fairly entertaining to see how they tried to figure out and play the game. There was also some interesting backstabbing in this game that really invokes the appeal of the Survivor series. Other than that, it felt like rehash of previous materials of Saw II where a group of victims had to figure out a location filled with deadly traps.

The detective aspect felt more inept compare to the torture games. Building from the leads from Saw IV, Agent Strahm who’s been following the case is closing on the Identity of the new Jigsaw. This is where the part where the editing gets murky. Saw V never really gave much valid reason for the animosity between Agent Strahm and Mark Hoffman. The manner that they tried to outsmart each other in Saw V felt rush and overly convoluted.

Another problem would be there was far too little screen time for Tobin Bell to sprout his Jigsaw’s type of wisdom. One of the reasons for the success of Saw franchise was Tobin Bell’s portrayal of Jigsaw. His calm and collected reasoning make all these torture porn madness intriguing and were often a delight to watch. Costas Mandylor on the other hand wasn’t as captivating and definitely need to lose some weight before the next weight in Saw movie.

If you have seen Saw IV, it wouldn’t come as a surprise after the introduction of Hoffman as the apprentice and how flashback was used to explain Jigsaw’s methodology, that it’s time to flashback to how did this unlikely team up. Saw V didn’t sell this presentation well and I am not exactly converted on Hoffman conversion. The constant flashback to add insights to the previous installments also felt tacky.

Lastly the manner that they try to litter clues and hints for subsequence movies to refer back to this one felt rather obvious and not as skilled as before. It also felt like they are holding back with the clues and resolution of certain things to hold over till the next one. It was fun previously but this time round, it just feel that they are running short of materials to branch out.

At the end, my friend asked me, “Where the teaser to the next film?” and it made it all so clear for me. There isn’t any tantalizing factor in Saw V that makes you want to find out what going to happen in the next installment. There are materials in Saw V that Saw fans will enjoyed but ultimately it felt like it’s just there for the sake of being delivered on time for the yearly Halloween day release tradition.

Movie Rating:

(Saw V marks the start of staleness to the franchise)

Review by Richard Lim Jr


. Saw 4 (2007)

. P2 (2007)

. Saw 3 (2006)

. Saw 2 (2005)

. Hostel 2 (2007)

. Captivity (2007)

. Vacancy (2007)

. Hostel (2005)


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