CinemaCl🎃wn’s review published on Letterboxd:
A step down in quality but a step up in extremity, the follow-up chapter to James Wan's Saw may not be as impressive & gratifying on storytelling scale as its predecessor but it still succeeds as a worthy addition to the franchise that expands upon the premise of the original while exploring the backstory of the notorious serial killer, Jigsaw.
The second instalment in the infamous series, Saw II finds Jigsaw being apprehended by the police but he points them towards a set of computer monitors that shows several people trapped inside a house, and one among them is the arresting officer's son. With time running out quickly, this officer has no choice but to play his game if he wishes to see his kid again.
Co-written & directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, this second chapter adopts the narrative style & visual design of the original but shifts a gear or two when it comes to the violence, gore & sadistic games. The plot is interesting, albeit a little far-fetched at times, and makes use of few flashbacks that covers our serial killer's backstory and briefly explains why he became Jigsaw.
The booby traps are cleverly imagined although not all of them work out in the story's favour. Also making a surprise return is Jigsaw's only known survivor who's thrown into the game along with the rest. The performances aren't any good but Tobin Bell does leave a positive impression in his role while Charlie Clouser's score only gets more intense as the plot nears its conclusion.
On an overall scale, Saw II lacks the freshness & compact structure of the original but attempts to make up for those shortcomings by levelling up its violence & other extremity elements. Although it's no instant classic like its predecessor, it nonetheless works as a fine entry in the series and will delight those who came here looking for some good old-fashioned torture & body mutilations. Worth a shot.