Is there anything better than a Donnie Wahlberg sighting? I mean, think about the characters he’s played: nut-job in the Sixth Sense, nut-job in Dream Catcher, nut-job in New Kids on the Block… OK, so Wahlberg doesn’t quite play a nut-job in Saw II, but he is a bit creepy as the officer trying to track down the same killer from the first movie.
Saw II starts off where the brilliant Saw left off. There is a deranged man (the Jigsaw Killer) "teaching lessons" to those who do not appreciate life. He’s up to the same tricks of giving people a choice to live or die. In the opening scene, a peeping Tom has a "death mask" device attached to his head. There is a key to unlock the mask surgically inserted behind the man’s eye. He has to make a choice: cut out his eye (giving up on his peeping ways) to retrieve the key, or die when the mask springs across his face like a bear trap. What will he do?
Ah, I’ll let you see the movie for the answer to that. I guarantee no matter which way he goes it’s not pretty.
In Saw II, Jigsaw has kidnapped a group of people and locked them in an abandoned house. The house has a deadly nerve gas coming through the vents, but there are antidotes hidden and a way out. The group simply needs to work together and figure out what they have in common and what the combination is to a safe that holds the antidotes.
There are a few things that are a bit too convenient in this film. For instance, one person that has been kidnapped has escaped the Jigsaw Killer before. Another is the son of the police officer played by Wahlberg. Also, one decides he doesn’t need any help and he can get out himself. Little secrets of their lives are slowly revealed and, even though I thought I knew what was going on, their thread is not what you’d expect.
Much of the movie is a face-to-face conversation with Jigsaw and Wahlberg’s character, officer Matthews. Of course Matthews is emotionally involved as there is a video feed in Jigsaw’s hideout that shows Matthews’ son in the house of death. Matthews and his posse (ya know, because he was in NKOTB!) watch as people die and/or go crazy trying to get out of the house.
I like a scary movie that thrills a little, makes you feel squirmy and uncomfortable, and has a good twist at the end. Saw II accomplished all 3 to some extent. Not quite as good as the first one, but certainly better than most crap that has come from Hollywood this year. Also, there aren’t many things creepier than that puppet on a tricycle. Great nightmarish character!
3.8 out of 5!