With Jigsaw now dead, it is up to an FBI agent to delve into the past of a man whom he has long believed to be involved with the murders.Picking up where the previous film left off, agent Peter Strahm (Scott Patterson) is determined to prove that Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) is the man on the inside that has been helping Jigsaw all along. Meanwhile, another five strangers are put to the test.
So, Saw V… I think it is clear with this film that this was when the franchise had begun to over-reach itself. It tells yet another side of the story started in Saw II and then continued in the next two films. I guess it’s good that they cover all angles with each character, but surely they didn’t need a fourth film spent on the same story to do this?
I think the saving grace here was the two lead performances put in by Scott Patterson and Costas Mandylor. I spoke about Patterson’s role as Strahm in my previous review of Saw IV so I shan’t bang on about him again. However, I will talk about Mandylor’s wonderful turn as Detective Mark Hoffman. It’s not the first time he’s appeared in the franchise, but it is with this film we get a real feel for the sort of character Hoffman is as this is the film that tells his version events. Mandylor makes Hoffman the exact type of character I love – a right nasty piece of work that no-one can seem to catch, no matter what he does – so regardless of how the final two in the series turn out, if Hoffman remains a prominent figure, I shall be quite happy..
It is the general structure of this film that has me most puzzled, I think. Firstly, what felt like the majority of the Strahm/Hoffman segment is footage taken from previous films. I have to admit that this felt lazy as anything, and it is the reason I would say the franchise is, at this point, beginning to feel a little tired. The second thing is the whole ‘Fatal Five’ thing – the five strangers we see fighting it out to the death in the film. this just felt like a side story that just didn’t belong with the Strahm/Hoffman cat-and-mouse chase. In fact, if you discount how the two scenarios were very clumsily put together at the end, they kind of didn’t go together at all. However, I must admit that something happened for me throughout the course of the film that meant I can live with the faults it has. Had I have been one of the chosen five, we would all have lived is all I shall say – I had the solution to that trap down very early on. There you go, Jigsaw – your turn, mate.
On the whole, I can’t say that I was overly impressed by Saw V. It simply expanded upon the story it had told before whilst trying to also tell the story of another group of people who had no real relevance to what was already going on, Two characters and the two actors playing them carried the film for me, but, given the ending, it would appear that the rest of the franchise is going to be left on the shoulders of just one of these two. Oh well, I soldier onwards…