Well, another year meant another Saw film. This one, Saw V: Jigsaw’s Team Building Weekend, is admittedly where we can start to see the wheels come off on the franchise. This is the first film without any of the original writers of the first four movies, and features a brand new director. This one is about :
Following Jigsaw’s grisly demise, Mark Hoffman, the final apprentice to the serial killer is deigned a hero. Meanwhile, Agent Strahm continues to track Hoffman while another group of strangers are put through a series of gruesome traps.
So, Hoffman has taken up the mantle and we do learn more about how he came to work with Jigsaw, and that he and Jigsaw had been together from the beginning. With Strahm close behind, Hoffman works to clean up the loose ends, and cover himself from being found out.
This time around, we do have a small performance from Tobin Bell, who has continued to deliver every time around on this one, even though he’s dead. The other actors are pretty watchable, and do a serviceable job all the way through. The place that it really struggles is in the story.
While the story and the universe of Jigsaw’s plan are expanded further, and we do get more twists and turns, it does seem like the main test in the movie is of little consequence to the rest of the story. The people being tested were responsible for a pretty terrible thing, but it didn’t appear to connect to the rest of the story. Almost as if there were two loosely connected movies playing at the same time. It feels a bit more like padding for the run-time, when what is being added to the original story plays out separately.
That being said, the traps are clever, and the gore has been upped once again from the previous movie. At this point, it’s fair to say that this is what people want out of the movie, and that is what they get. The twists and turns this movie takes aren’t quite as remarkable or interesting as the ones before either, which is sort of an unfortunate thing to lose. We really just get more back story from Hoffman, but that is really all that is added when the movie is over.
All in all, if you’ve enjoyed the series so far, this one probably won’t turn you off of the entire thing. You’re going to get the things from it that you want, and on that basis it’s worth continuing on with the franchise. However this is the weakest entry, so far, and it does start to show where people might have started to lose interest.
The one twist that made me laugh a little bit was watching the ‘team building’ exercise traps, and seeing the realization that if they hadn’t just immediately murdered each other, they would have probably made it out with minor injuries.. that was a pretty satisfying moment when you watch idiots act like idiots and suffer for it.
So, in closing, it’s watchable but not great. Really only one for the completionists who want to see where the series is going from here on.
FINAL GRADE : C