Sawed Off. Sorry, That Was Lame. This Movie Sawks?
Darren Lynn Bousman
I don’t believe in God. I’ve made that clear in the past, through derisive remarks and by comparing the Bible to a dog-eared copy of The Wizard of Oz missing the last few pages, essentially painting Christianity as a bad Zardoz rip-off with a much longer running time. But I take it all back. I’ll suspend my disbelief, frequently confuse the terms ‘feminist’ and ‘lesbian’, and bang my head against a radiator until basic scientific precepts cease making sense, as long as God promises to smite the people who made Saw 2 as surely as he did the Old Testament sodomites. Hell, throw the original Saw into the mix and I just might firebomb an abortion clinic or two. I’m on my way down there on Friday anyway to try and pick up some loose tail, so it’s not like I’m going out of my way or anything. In fact, the ability to willingly suspend my disbelief to that extent might come in handy should they ever make a third film in this series, because the Saw films need blinding credulity burgeoning on stupidity as sure as a Michael Moore documentary.
For those fortunate enough to have missed the first Saw movie, allow me to recap. An elderly engineer gets cancer and a few terrible ideas from watching Se7en too many times, and starts punishing people who are wasting the ‘gift of life’. He targets drug users and adulterers, which seems silly, because like the aforementioned chicks at abortion clinics, these are the people who seem to be using life to have a good time. What he really needs to be doing is killing people with X-Boxes, because playing Halo for six days straight is about the biggest waste of life I can think of, save a Communications Studies degree. So, a bunch of stupid people suffer through a bunch of stupid games strapped to a bunch of stupid devices apparently inspired by the game Mousetrap, all leading up to a shocking twist ending that’s only shocking because it makes no sense. Normally, I’d say that you’d have to be an idiot to find the ending satisfying, but Saw goes beyond that. No, you have to actually be dead, physically dead, to end up with a positive impression of the last few minutes of the film. And it has to be quick, too. If you slit your wrists or eat three bottles of extra-strength Tylenol and die of renal failure, you’re still going to have some time to puzzle through the incredible inconsistencies of the first film. If you want to enjoy Saw, I would suggest bringing a small calibre handgun to the theatre, preferably a .22, in order to avoid disturbing/injuring your neighbour, and shooting yourself directly in the temple as soon as you see the first end-credit title card. That way, you can go to your grave shocked and impressed by the film, instead of tired and frustrated, which is something that will happened before the sternly worded copyright warning comes up in the final title crawl.
Saw 2 picks up where the first film left off, ramping up the gore, tension, and pure, unadulterated stupidity of the original film. Director Darren Lynn Bousman has apparently confused the first movie with a Marilyn Manson video, and edits the sequel accordingly, cutting like a skipping CD and changing the frame rate whenever he feels he’s losing his audience to boredom. I wish I were bored in this movie. Then, I could have fallen asleep and saved myself the epileptic seizure that kicked in near the end of the movie, in a horrific flashback sequence that re-capped the entire film, up to and including the scene in which the flashback occurs. It’s like a snake eating its own tail, or more accurately, a snake that’s already eaten its own tail, and is throwing it up so we can watch it get eaten again. I’m so angry at this movie, I don’t know where to start. The basic premise has a bunch of people I don’t like locked in a house together, to be punished by Jigsaw, the killer, for the crimes they committed in life. Then, he punishes the cop who put them in jail, because said cop planted the evidence. So, essentially, the script would have us believe that Jigsaw is taking justice into his own hands, by punishing a bunch of wrongly imprisoned people and the cop who took justice into his own hands. Jigsaw, apparently, would like to have his cake and eat it too, except instead of the cake, he’s chewing scenery like Hannibal Lector played by Al Pacino. So, Jigsaw puts these strange guilty innocents together in the house, pumps in some poison gas, and makes them die in improbably capricious traps. And therein lies the first problem. Jigsaw, it is made clear, has an engineering degree. My university studies sadly did not include engineering, but I’m fairly sure that you don’t graduate with a firm grounding in fluid dynamics and magic. My dad is an engineer, and he can build lots of stuff, like combustion boilers and brick-walled barbeques, but he’s not so great at mixing up nerve-gas and welding death-masks. And speaking of the gas, which is explicitly stated to be sarin, none of that part of the movie makes any sense. Firstly, nerve gas doesn’t make you cough up blood. Last I checked, it’s called nerve gas because it affects the nervous system, shutting down your vital functions, not making your lungs bleed like you breathed in Clorox. And I don’t even want to get into the fact that rigging an entire house full of gas precisely timed to affect nine people of different sizes and metabolisms in exactly the same way would be a scientific impossibility. I don’t even know anything about nerve gas, and this stuff seemed ridiculous to me, which means that whoever wrote this poorly researched script knew even less than nothing. How is that possible? I’m guessing that the film actually sucks knowledge and intelligence from the audience to fill the void of retardation left by all the factual errors and faulty logic, leaving myself and the rest of the crowd decidedly dumber by the time we left the theatre. Which explains my sudden conversion to Christianity.