Saw V David Hackl

Saw V David Hackl
After five films can the Saw franchise shock even the most timid viewer at this point? Well, having seen a man hack his own leg off, a former junkie fall into a pit of used syringes and a man tear a series of chained hooks from his flesh, the extreme desensitization the series induces with its merciless traps makes me believe that there's nothing too outrageous out there anymore. And if it's the shocking "torture porn" aspect that keeps you coming back for more each October (and yes, Saw VI is slated for October 23, 2009), the fifth instalment of this tireless franchise is predictably inadequate, to say the least. To take a blood lusting perspective, I didn't feel that usual cringe from any of Saw V's money shots. Instead, the cringe was felt more by the desperation by the screenwriters to come up with an actual plot that would accommodate the chance to afflict excruciating death on more faceless characters. Still in the picture for his third straight appearance is Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), who was revealed to be Jigsaw's assistant in the fourth film. Carrying on his legacy now that Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) is dead, Hackl chooses to go back and show how Hoffman became involved, while his nemesis, Agent Strahm (Scott Patterson), who actually survived his trap, is tracking him down. (And yes, there is another group of sinners awaiting their impending and gory doom.) Of course, what this back-story does is simply keep Bell's Jigsaw in the picture, which seems necessary at this point to stay connected to the first film. But this revelatory ploy only spoils whatever fondness is left for the original concept. Where they can go from here while still employing Bell is beyond me but considering this film made triple its budget in the opening weekend's box office take alone, I don't think it will matter. Hackl and his first assistant conduct the first of two commentaries, giving the same old spiel, explaining each trap as they appear and constantly referring to the previous sequels while praising Saw as a "a unique franchise," which is hard to argue against. As always, there is a mini-featurette for each trap, which explains just how Jigsaw pulled it off. (Maple)