Friday, October 24, 2008

You won't believe how it ends....or how it began

With everyone else dead and rotting, it's up to Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) 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 in Saw 5.

The film opens with an EXTREMELY graphic torture scene that involves a pendulum. Seth Baxter plays a very important role to the story. We find out here that he mudered Hoffman's sister. He was sentenced to 20 years, but was let out after 5 due to a technicality prompting Hoffman to create a Jigsaw-like contraption to exact his own brand of justice. This catches the eye of the REAL Jigsaw. We found out in the 4th film that Detective Hoffman (Mandylor) was helping out Jigsaw (Bell) with the murders. Since Jigsaw is now dead, he needed someone to continue his legacy and that is what Mandylor was used for. This time around, Mandylor is now considered a hero because he saves a little girl in the beginning and basically "takes down Jigsaw," even though he is already dead. He becomes the hero but the problem lies in the fact that one of his victims, Agent Strahm (Patterson), makes it out alive, in what I would say is a pretty brutal scene. Strahm makes it is his goal the entire film to piece this together to find out who the accomplice is. He finds out pretty shortly that it has something to do with Hoffman and wants to bring him down. While all of this is occurring, there is a new game being played between five new characters that are somehow connected. Therefore, you have Strahm looking for Hoffman, a new five person jigsaw game and Jigsaw's ex-wife, Jill (Betsy Russell) participating in the fun as well. Though, her character was very vague throughout the film and we never really figure out her whole deal. Surprisingly, the fifth installment of the series has a nice flow to it and is still being able to dish out newly designed horrific torture scenes. Just when you thought all of the torture scenes had been used up in the past 4 films, think again. It turns out they spit out a very decent torture flick yet again.
We start off with 5 new victims who are connected, but it's not yet revealed how. We meet Brit (Julie Benz), Luba (Meagan Good), Charles (Carlo Rota), Mallick (Greg Byrk), and Ashley (Laura Gordon). They awake to find that they are in neck harnesses and are on a pulley system with sharp blades behind their heads. Jigsaw tells them that they have to work together to get the keys to get loose or they lose their heads and if they can't figure out how to within 5 minutes there are nail bombs also in the corners of the room that will dispose of them if they don't make it out of the room in time (these are in each room so I'll only explain it this one time). First they argue then do their best to get their keys. Needless to say one doesn't make it. The second room displays what looks like a section of an underground sewer. Overhead are jars that hold keys with shapes on them that unlock the drains so that they can get in before the time runs out (there are bombs in the room). Again, one doesn't make it. The last two rooms are quite creative. The next room has a tub of water in the center of the room and 5 electrical boxes which the currents need to be stopped in order to open the door in time. The electric cables don't quite reach the tub. With 3 people left by this time, one is sacrificed to get the door open. Now, it's down to 2 people and now they have figured out how they were all connected. For someone to get their hands on some property to build upon, they all find out that they had a hand in the deaths of the 8 people that resided in the building and now they are being judged or being given a chance at redemption if you look at it from Jigsaw's point of view. Now, in the last room the last two standing are faced with a new contraption that involves blood and a beaker that has to be filled with 10 pints of blood. This one is SO gruesome that it needs to be seen to be believed! Also they figure out at this time what exactly Jigsaw said back in the first room about working together and they realize that it's too late to turn back now and they perform the last task. All while this is going on Detective Strahm is pursuing Detective Hoffman who he knows is the Jigsaw accomplice. Back in the beginning (exactly where 4 ended) Strahm finds a tape from Jigsaw basically instructing him NOT to go ahead with his deeper investigation and that if he did that it would be his undoing...which it does.
I've noticed quite a few things from these Saw movies....the people being tested NEVER listen or fully comprehend what Jigsaw says until the very end. Best noted was Saw 2, where Detective Eric Matthews is instructed by Jigsaw to just give him a bit of his time and to talk to him and no harm would come to his son. He gets so agitated that he flips out and ends up being captured himself in a trap while his son was in the same room the whole time unharmed. In this one he instructs the 5 victims to work together to stay alive. In the first room where they wake up in the last 2 figure out that they only needed 1 key to get all of them out because the keys were ALL the same. In the 3rd room with the tub of water and electricity, if they had all worked together to make it to that point they would've gotten a small shock enough to open the door instead of one person taking it all. The last room would have still been brutal, but it would've taken 2 pints from them all to fill up the 10 pint beaker to open the door. Jigsaw gives these people the choice to redeem themselves, but they never quite figure that out...mainly because they end up dead before they do.
Jigsaw is DEAD, but his legacy will continue. During the movie we see how Hoffman was trained to take over and we see that he was connected to it all the way back to the first movie. It wasn't the best of the series, but interesting enough to keep any Saw fan intrigued (like me). Just to see the new traps alone is enough to bring me back time and time again. A definite addition to the franchise and a must see for any Saw fan. A gruesome 4 on my "Go See" scale.

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