Genres: Crime, Horror,
Thriller

Rated: R

Country: USA

Year: 2008

Runtime: 88 minutes

Studio: Lionsgate

IMDB Page
Review done by: Nightmare Child
Starring: Tobin Bell, Costas Mandylor, Scott Petterson, Betsy Russell, Julie
Benz, Meagan Good, Mark Rolston, Carlo Rota, Greg Bryk, Laura Gordon

Director: David Hackl

Synopsis: With everyone else dead, it's up to Hoffman to continue Jigsaw's
murderous traditions. When he feels that his identity might be discovered,
the killer has to use all his training as a detective to track down
anything--and anyone--that might expose him.


Review:

I still find it amazing that people go to see these movies. I figured it would
end up being over exposed with part IV. Surprisingly, Saw IV was actually
good, and it kept the fans coming. These films are guaranteed to make their
money back by the first two weeks. They play it smart by making them with
low budgets. Nintendo did the same thing, and those fuckers are bathing in
money. Anyways, lets get back to the review. It's October again, which
means that there's a new Saw movie in theatres. The yearly Saw train keeps
rolling, but I'm afraid it's already losing steam. Saw V takes place after the
events in part IV. Detective Hoffman gets away after being revealed as
Jigsaw's right hand man. He sets everything up to make it seem like he's the
hero who survived. To his dismay, Agent Strahm also made it out alive, and
he's questioning Hoffman's involvement with the case. Trying to answer the
question as to why he suffered and Hoffman got away with just a few
scratches.

Agent Strahm becomes mildly obsessed with this fact, and tries to dig up
some dirt on Hoffman. Hoffman knows what he's up to, and tries to fight
back by covering up his secret. Meanwhile, in a different location, five people
wake up and...well you get the picture. They have to band together to
survive traps and yada yada yada. To be honest, this part of the story is
weak sauce. You know it's bad when you actually care more about the bits
that don't contain violence, because that's how I felt with Saw V. I was more
interested with Strahm digging up dirt on Hoffman, trying to connect him to
John Cramer (Jigsaw) rather than the actual traps. I'm sad to say this, but
the formula is stale. I thought part IV would be the inevitable end of the
series as far as good installments and revenue go, but it still found a way to
surprise you at the end. The franchise is known for having a twist ending.
Saw V doesn't have that kind of ending.

There is some sort of reveal, but it was obvious to us in the first thirty
minutes. It's bad enough that the commercials even hype it up by saying
"you won't believe how it ends," suggesting that something is going to
surprise you at the end. If you fell for this trap then you're a damn fool (like
me). There is no twist at the end, just something was saw coming from ten
thousand miles away. We already know the ending even before it reaches the
halfway mark. The only real mystery in the film is what's in the fucking box. I
swear to god that wasn't a joke. It's like the briefcase in Pulp Fiction: you
want to know what the fuck it is. Luckily we have Saw VI next year. Maybe
we'll have our answer then. This formula is running on empty. Everything you
got from the previous films are included here, minus the big reveal at the
end. Like parts three and four, they even begin to explain things that didn't
even need explaining. Now (according to the story), we find out that
Detective Hoffman has an even deeper connection to the franchise.

We learn this through a series of flash backs that give more detail on events
from all the other movies. It didn't need to be there, but it's nice that they
still find ways to add Tobin Bell to the cast. After the third installment, I
started to look at the Saw series the same way I do with my favorite
television shows. One episode may not be as good as the others, but I'm
always anxious to see how the next entry plays out, hoping that it will only
get better from there. I've been following these films for more than five years
now, and I'm always curious as to how each one will top itself. At this point,
we're so familiar with the franchise (considering there's a new one every
twelve months) that the formula is getting real old real fast. I hate to say
this, but I feel like I'm becoming desensitized by the idea of people being
tortured. Each movie opens with a bang, and that bang consists in the form
of a person trying to survive a trap. What makes the Saw formula so unique
is the fact that the brains behind everything isn't technically a killer.

He finds ways for people to kill themselves, which usually involves them
sacrificing a part of their body to live out the rest of their pathetic lives. I will
admit however that after Saw III it started to feel like straight murder. The
idea is being exploited so much that we've come to expect it, and we're
awaiting the next trap after those two minutes have past. This is one of the
main problems with this movie and the series in general. The traps are grisly
and brutal, but they pass so fast now and we wait to see what lies in the
next room, without even thinking twice about what event we just previously
witnessed. The series is leaning more towards exploitation. The substance
and mystery we've had with the first two films is now gone. Most
movie-goers will pay to see a movie like this for the blood. I do too, but I
care more about the story than the gore. When they're both done great, it's
a recommendation. If you're looking into this movie for the violence, then I
recommend you check out the earliest showing.

The blood and gore is great, and some of the traps are pretty clever.
However, it's weak sauce. The trap scenes in this movie felt out of place. It
barely has a connection with the main plot. They try to make it like the series
of traps in part II where a group of people have to work together to survive.
It failed miserably. The traps scenes here feel more like fillers, and that's
probably the hardest thing to believe coming from a Saw movie. The juicy
bits are with the two FBI agents, and not the chick getting her head chopped
off. If you want to see this for the story, than I suggest you wait for the
DVD. I love the stories that these films have to offer, so you can understand
how disappointed I am. At least the other movies kept you guessing. I'm
always fascinated with all the new characters and subplots they add with each
entry. Saw 5 breaks away from that, and goes for a more straight forward
approach. Overall, it's not a bad movie. It's just the weakest in the series.


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Overall: 6/10
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