Thursday, February 9, 2012

Prodigy Wars: The Pointless: SAW V (2008)

SAW V (2008)
starring: Scott Patterson, Costas Mandylor and Tobin Bell


Since John Kramer, AKA Jigsaw, is dead, people across America (or at least a portion of America) thinks they're finally safe from his madness. But when a SWAT Commander was forced to play what appears to be a Jigsaw game, it became clear that Jigsaw had more than one accomplice. After going through a series of tormenting games, it soon revealed that someone from the inside is helping Jigsaw and continuing his work from beyond the grave. And that man is none other than Detective Hoffman...which was introduced in SAW III...and had no bigger role until right now.

Starting with yet another Jigsaw game where a man is strapped by the neck and wrists to a slab and a bladed pendulum swings an inch closer into slicing him in half. The only way to escape it is to have the machine crush his hands but, like Amanda's games, the trap was inescapable thus severing him completely in half.

Turns out that this trap occured some years ago when and had something to do with Detective Hoffman. Now continuing from where IV left, Agent Strahm nearly got himself drowned in a box trap placed unto his head as he chased the perpetrator of the recent Jigsaw game. After a gutsy escape, Strahm made it out, but Hoffman already made it looked like he solved the case and was treated as a hero. Now out to prove Hoffman's connection to Jigsaw, Strahm pursues a personal vendetta against him.

Meanwhile, five strangers are held captive and is forced to play a game and the only rule is to stay alive, or die trying. (yeah, that's pretty much it)

After an intriguing fourth film, SAW V stepped down a lot and ended up as a level-headed entry to the cycle. Technically, the film's a cops-and-robber style of plot with suspicions already known and a race against time was played before a not-so-shocking reveal. Insofar, it's everything we'd seen before from an all natural and all familiar SAW entry and that includes the massive gorno tropes.

I can't really hand anything unique here; to be frank, the series could had gone through smoothly even without this if it wasn't for the first and last ten minutes that connects the previous and next cycle. Strahm's attempt to expose Hoffman barely even mattered, with most of it focuses solely on another unlucky captives as they work their way through the latest of Jigsaw traps. There's some flashbacks that connects Hoffman and Jigsaw, mainly since the good detective tried to pass the opening murder, which was really committed by him, to that of Jigsaw's. Sure enough, John Kramer didn't like that but let him live and decided to teach him John sees a lot of potential. Good note but not as good as the rest.

Note that the gore here is surprisingly not so torturous; if I could compare it to anything, it's SAW II with less budget and slightly more visceral taste, from decapitations to bomb decimations, but nothing of the prolonged, bit-by-bit dismemberment that the third and fourth had introduced. (save the last trap where the two survivors must run their hand through buzzsaws. Ouch!)

Primarily the weakest entry, SAW V doesn't go anywhere. It's a watch for hardcore SAW fans but in terms of gorno lovers, I think you guys can do better than this. At least the next two films are a better watch...

1 male severed in half by a bladed pendulum
1 female pulled into blade, decapitated
1 male immolated by explosives
1 female found with neck slit (flashback)
1 female had a hook hacked into her head, electrocuted
1 male crushed flat in closing walls
total: 6

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