Saw V

Saw V

2008, R, 92 min. Directed by David Hackl. Starring Scott Patterson, Costas Mandylor, Tobin Bell, Betsy Russell, Julie Benz, Meagan Good, Carlo Rota, Mike Butters.

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Oct. 31, 2008

It's now been two sequels back since Jigsaw, the unlikely star of this – the original torture-porn series – expired on an operating table while his protégé(s) continued dicing and slicing various reprobates into so much human steak tartare. Keeping Rube Goldberg's evil twin Jigsaw (Bell) in the game – and the Saw series has become nothing if not a game – has become a matter of which flashback to insert where and when. To their credit, writers Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan (Saw IV, Feast) find plenty of screen time for their cadaverous dispenser of poetic justice. Unfortunately, only the most forgiving of fans will find this particularly convoluted outing more interesting than anything in previous installments. As series' tradition dictates, Saw V opens with a cunningly devised bloodbath, and this time out the garish demise references The Pit and the Pendulum. From there, however, the film becomes a sluggish police procedural, with returning FBI agent Strahm (Patterson) suddenly finding himself a victim of Jigsaw's morality-based madness. (It's times like this that we should all review the basics of battlefield tracheotomies.) Bloodied but unbowed, Strahm begins to suspect Jigsaw expert Detective Hoffman (Mandylor, back for a third time), who always seems to be at the right place at the wrong time, or vice versa. Simultaneously, a new series of potentially deadly traps (guillotines, bombs, yawning) have been set for a new cluster of victims – but, really, who cares apart from the characters themselves? The Saw series is officially self-cannibalizing now, rehashing plot contrivances that felt oddly familiar the third time around and thoroughly unable to ratchet up the level of diabolic inventiveness that makes for the franchise's only real points of interest. Truly, the greatest torture of all is boredom.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Scott Patterson Films
Saw IV
Jigsaw died in Saw III but here we get to witness his autopsy, stem to stern, thus giving him not only the last laugh, but Being and Nothingness, as well.

Marc Savlov, Nov. 2, 2007

More by Marc Savlov
Remembering James “Prince” Hughes, Atomic City Owner and Austin Punk Luminary
Remembering James “Prince” Hughes, Atomic City Owner and Austin Punk Luminary
The Prince is dead, long live the Prince

Aug. 7, 2022

Green Ghost and the Masters of the Stone
Texas-made luchadores-meets-wire fu playful adventure

April 29, 2022

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Saw V, David Hackl, Scott Patterson, Costas Mandylor, Tobin Bell, Betsy Russell, Julie Benz, Meagan Good, Carlo Rota, Mike Butters

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle