Bob McCully’s review published on Letterboxd:
Saw 2: Getting Jiggy Wit' It!
Jigsaw is back and ready to teach his next batch of prey a naughty lesson on appreciating life. A group of random strangers find themselves in a dirty old house, including the son of a particularly rough-around-the-edges cop. It's soon revealed to them that they have only 3 hours to live thanks to a nasty toxic gas they're deliciously inhaling as it's being fed into the air. They must follow the clues to find the antidote and not drown in all the deviant filth of this trashy thrasher of a sequel!
In true horror sequel fashion, another go around elicits higher stakes, harsher violence, over the top stylization and louder melodrama. Expect some soap opera levels of grimacing and groaning, balanced out by decent performances - like Donnie Wahlberg as the vicious cop in search of his son.
Compared to the first one, that seed of the franchise is downright austere with its choices. A much more even-keel representation of the peeling back of hell's intricate layers. Here we swim through the pulp, occasionally coming up for air when things get droll or over-baked or, like, straight-up silly.
Still - I had a fucking blast with this. It's so gripping watching these angsty fools run about then get hacked up in various set-pieces. Loved the prick who gets charred proper in the furnace, but my heart burst out of my chest at the needle scene. That moment was devastating, living up to the rep this series has for extreme torture in imaginative settings, and so damn maniacal it begs the question: is there a sequel that's just a greatest hits episode?
Stoked to finally be diving into these and with a few truly gruesome kills and that phenomenally goosebump-inducing final twist reveal I am going to be dipping in on more than one occasion.