Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Saw V (David Hackl, 2008) Review

Still going with this franchise. I knew it was seven films long but when you have to analyse them individually and base their merits on that, it gets tedious. I do like the Saw films (to an extent) but I have to admit...there ARE seven of them. Does the fifth entry to the surprisingly successful franchise still keep what made the first three engaging (cutting Saw IV off already) or does the formula grow tired and predictable. If Saw VI it's kind of obvious but let's take a look anyway.

As Jigsaw's (Tobin Bell) legacy thrives long after his death, five more people are plunged into a new set of trails that aims to teach them a valuable lesson as Jigsaw's newly revealed apprentice watches over them. Agent Peter Strahm (Scott Patterson) does whatever he can to try and prove that Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) is the aforementioned apprentice. The two clash as Strahm throws out the accusation while Hoffman fights to defend his name and title even if he has a secret explored in Saw IV.

It's quite clear that the Saw films definitely declined in quality as the series went on. Saw V is definitely one of the lowest points (not THE lowest...that's still to come). The major problem with the fifth iteration is that it's very dull. That's saying a lot for this franchise that throws blood and guts at you like it's currency. Strahm has the capacity to be an interesting character as was shown in the previous film however he is stripped of this and left as just a boring, generic detective. On the flip side, however,  is Hoffman who is still proving to be one of the better characters in the franchise. Costas Mandylor does become one with the character as he is given much more development than in previous films which was probably just simply for setting up the twist at the end of the last film.

In terms of plot, the only interesting elements are the traps as Saw V boasts some of the best in the series. The most iconic image of the film is Strahm's head trapped in the cube filling with water. No bloodshed, no violence and proves to be one of the more subtle Saw traps...not that that's saying much considering that this film also shows off what actually happens when the 'walls closing in' cliche is fully realised. It's one of the most memorable moments in the series as horrifically violent and scarring it is. I'm certain your sick bloodlust will be quenched by this one. However, like I said, that's the only interesting part. The rest is very boring exposition that drags. 

Saw V is a dull entry only existing for filler and dull exposition. It fills the quota for the established Saw formula with the inventive traps that definitely leave an impression as well as the mandatory twist and cliffhanger. It's at this point in the series that the formula start to run dry and becomes 'just another Saw film'. It doesn't stand up on its own and needs the others as a crutch, yet even then it spouting with exposition there was no chance of standing up on it's own at all. The acting has improved, that's for sure, as more interesting characters are introduced but it falls short of the previous entries.

Boring, dull, full of exposition and drags. There are good points such as the inventive traps and acting but the plot cripples it.

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