This isn't quite "Blair Witch Project 2" bad, but it's pretty close, the main difference being that "Saw II" has something to do with "Saw I." Granted, the question of whether or not this is a good thing is debatable.
The only point of the movie is to show a bunch of gruesome deaths by trapping a group of people somewhere and making it seem like their decisions cause their deaths. The creator of this entire scenario is cancer patient Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), who's somehow set up these traps despite being confined to a wheelchair and barely able to breathe. We're supposed to buy that he's this incredible mastermind and that he can foresee every possibility and every action of every person in the entire movie.
I don't think it would have been possible for me to care less about the characters in this film. In retrospect, that's probably something of an accomplishment. Detective Eric Matthews (Donnie Wahlberg) has a spat with his son, Daniel (Erik Knudsen). Next thing Eric knows, Jigsaw is sitting right in front of him, but has trapped Daniel in a house with a few others, including the apparently very unlucky Amanda (Shawnee Smith), who's already survived Jigsaw once. So, there are two games going on here. The first entails Detective Matthews trying to figure out where this house is. The second involves the people trying to follow the rules of the house to avoid a gruesome death. Since Matthews can't kill Jigsaw and risk not learning the house's location, he has to endure a conversation with him. So do we.
The set-up for the victims is basically ridiculous. They're in this old, rickety house, but somehow Jigsaw has arranged for a deadly nerve agent to be pumped in through the ducts continuously. There are about as many holes in that idea as there are holes in the house. There's also a ridiculous amount of coincidence going on. For instance, one guy gets shot because he's looking through a peephole at precisely the same moment that another guy turns a key.
Jigsaw's rationale for putting people in these situations is that they don't appreciate life. He specifically picks people who sell drugs or have drug addictions or who are Republicans. Frankly, one film was enough. The shine has clearly worn off of "Saw II."
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