EDITOR'S NOTE: “Saw V” opened in theaters Oct. 24 but was not screened for critics.
Oh, Jigsaw. Here we go again. You kill. I doze off. Someone at the studio goes “ka-ching!” Four movies ago, your moralizing death traps were at least dreadful fun. That's withered away, and laziness has taken over.
With each passing “Saw” (the new title says “five,” yet it feels like 55), the movies get further away from the nature of the mayhem you've devised. In previous installments, your battle with cancer meant outsourcing your games to your apprentice (Shawnee Smith, how your insolence is missed).
Now we're in the grip of a full-blown Jigsaw copycat. Out of respect for those who care, I'll try not to spoil who it is. But he's no you.
It's true, you live on in flashbacks. But it's not about you now, Jigsaw. This time the stars are wads of footage from the old films.
We're in the same old dank warehouses and dungeons with the same old rusty instruments of torture. A hand is pulped in a vise. A head rolls.
These movies were always torn between Jigsaw's horrific intent and straight-to-cable police procedural. Now it's all cop show. Director David Hackl lets the cameraman and editor abuse the movie until it's incoherent.