A solid sequel that I put off too long; maintains the breakneck pace, frantic editing and dastardly writing of the original. In many ways, it has aged better than its predecessor; there are no unintentional laughs, and the melodrama is kept on a tight leash.
The formula was not enough. And it is kind of sad, and sadistic, to create entertainement like this. A good (bold) filmmaker would deconstruct things. Even if not to the extreme of Haneke's Funny Games. But as the series progresses, there seems to be a morality, a very stupid morality. And it's like the victims deserve to be punished. There's no patience for this. It seems like an excuse for the viewers' sadism.
While I haven't cared for how stylized these films are, they have better writing than most give them credit for. I think Saw II, in particular, is like a twisted version of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.
Honestly... it surprised me. A lot. The dirty cop is the perfect example of why you never actually root (that much) for the characters (with Daniel being the only exception where you actually want him to live) since the movie shows you all the crap they did in their lifetime.
...and then Darren Lynn Bousman comes along with a completely unrelated script that Lionsgate asks him to turn into "Saw 2," which unsurprisingly turns out to be the best film by far in the entire series. If this had been the original "Saw," the series' popularity would have made a lot more sense.