Saw V
SPOILER WARNING (If you haven't seen all of the previous films).

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So you know how the plot synopsis for this movie was so bare-bones and everybody thought it was because they didn't want to spoil anything? Well, the truth is that that's about as basic as you can actually put the plot, as it's freakin complicated otherwise. Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) has ‘survived' and moved on from the end of Saw IV (the trap portion of the movie, not the autopsy portion, which is actually never even referenced in this film), and has set himself up to be the Jigsaw case's savior and be a big hero, even though he's the new bad guy. The only snag is that Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson) has survived and is on to much more than Hoffman likes. So meanwhile, while Hoffman is chasing after Strahm, who is tracing the steps of Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) and his past victims, another game is going on in which five individuals (including Julie Benz and Meagan Good) have to go through a set of rooms and face a set of traps, one by one.

     There's a new director in town, and it does show a bit. There are no fancy camera tricks, transitions, or editing techniques, which is really sad (well, maybe one or so, but that's about it). In fact, there's even a bit of CGI, which is totally out of the Saw realm. So the usual Saw feel with the cool camera and editing tricks was gone. However, it wasn't completely bad. It still worked for what it was.

     One big negative aspect, however, belongs to the plot. Everything about the movie was either predictable, obvious, or an overall ‘duh' moment. Most of the revelations or twists in the Saw series are mind-altering experiences that tend to blow you away. Not this time. The twist isn't anything massively important or mind blowing. It's just kind of there. And any of the other revelations were so easy to figure out it's like they weren't even trying to hide it like the others did. Hell, the opening game lines for the five people practically spells it out for them (and I knew it right away), yet when they figure it out, it's like some huge ordeal. I don't know if it's the movie that was predictable or that it was just the way the story was unfolded that made it too obvious. Maybe a mix of both. Oh... and the thing with Jill was just weird... but I figure that's something that'll be explained in the next one.

     On the subject of the traps, some of them were pretty cool. Like the trap that introduces the five people was quite inventive, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. Most of the others (for the few there were), were somewhat lame, though. Imaginative, sure, but lame.

     Yet again, though, the continuity saves the film. This film pulled what it did with the last couple and has just totally gone back to the first, second, and third films and re-shown stuff that fit in so smoothly it was like things were filmed simultaneously. I just loved how everything was connected and how everything just worked together so that a lot of things made even more sense than they did before.

     The acting was another notable positive, especially from Tobin Bell (as always). The entire scene/first flashback between him and John/Jigsaw was so amazingly well done... I don't think there's any way it could have been done any better. Tobin Bell really is a saving grace of this series. If it weren't for him and what he and his character brings, these movies would be flat-out terrible.

     So after a year of waiting, all I'm doing now it waiting for the final chapter of the series. This one was alright, mostly due to the flashback stuff/continuity that it holds. I was a bit upset that it never referenced the whole autopsy scene (even though that's what the last movie ended with). But who knows, maybe that scene happens after the events of Saw V, as well (I doubt it, but it's possible). They referenced Dr. Gordon so much and hinted so many things that I could have sworn it was coming this time around, but alas... maybe they'll end it with him to go out on a bang. Unfortunately, in order to get there, we had to do this one. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't the best of the series, either. I bet like one of the previous movies, it'll grow on me after numerous viewing... but until then... yeah. The tagline of the movie was "You'll never believe how it ends." Yeah, and I really couldn't believe it ended like that. It could have done better.
Reviewed by: Nick