The Boondock Saints 1 & 2: All Saints Day Reviewed

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

boondock_saintsThe Boondock Saints

Sometimes for a film to be found funny, likeable and clever, it takes more than being repeatedly reminded how funny, likeable and clever this is.

Two young upstanding Irish American lads – the McManus brothers – evolve overnight from fun loving pranksters to lethally capable assassins hellbent on avenging injustice.

Despite the fact that no one has asked them for help, nor do they have any personal stake in the game, we’re not supposed to find the brothers violent vigilantes, merely two larrikins who have redirected their energy into more positive murder.

Paul Smecker (Willem Dafoe) is the man through whom’s eyes we’re supposed to see. He arrives at each crime scene to painfully and lengthily inform the other cops – and us – how the mayhem played out in intricate painstaking detail. These ever increasing speeches are as annoying as they are implausible. If this smug situational analysis genius can work out every single step in the chaos, why the fuck cannot he catch the two killers who wander about in public drinking, singing and grinning ear to ear?

These multi lingual masters of massacre are as happy go lucky when slaughtering huge groups of well armed goons, as they are talking bollocks in the pub. It’s just that I found it hard to work out where what they did or how they went about doing it was so very memorable and laudable, let alone noble and worthy.

I watched The Boondock Saints over a decade ago, then instantly forgot about it. I was amazed to hear that it somehow became known as a cult classic, so I decided to revisit with a fresh eye to see what I missed. Not much. Here is a film in which everyone is so very clever and witty – except the film that presents itself as so very clever and witty.

Final Rating – 6 / 10. Some cult traits sure, but nothing that screams ‘unfairly forgotten classic’.

boondock_saints_ii_all_saints_dayThe Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day

Our Two-ondock Saints (come on marketing team!) are now laying low in Ireland, with dear old daddy (Billy Connolly) making up for time lost. But reminiscing with criminal parentage must wait, when news arrives of the heinous death of a holy man in their native Boston.

So once again avenging we must go, with the ever so noble decree that the duo will kill “every last motherfucker who had anything to do with it”.

Yay justice. Our once vigilantes have instantly evolved into vengeance-i-lantes…
Things start getting bad early. The local cops aren’t just worried and inept, they are positively wetting their pants. It isn’t until Special Agent Eunice Bloom arrives – to replace Smecker in every way – that the crime scene appears as more than a bunch of terrified schoolboys. Apparently this is hilarious but the gay rape jokes and other puerile dialogue, juvenile behaviour and embarrassing stereotypes grow old real fast. Then when Bloom starts with the same old tired retracing the McManus bros unnecessarily convoluted escapades, I threw up my hands and cast aside any hope of being entertained. If you can’t afford Willem Dafoe, don’t just give is a facsimile of same.

Connolly shows up again (for a morning’s acting work) to kickstart a dull plot twist through sometimes flashbacks, which would be forgivable if it weren’t for the fact that this apparently is where the film was supposed to go. It maybe says a lot about the charisma and magnetism of the brothers McManus that they can no longer carry their own film.
Still, the murders continue in a positively jovial tone, pausing only to frequently remind us just how good and well meaning these two violent killers really are. I beg to differ, and would take it one step further by saying LOUD DOESNT ALWAYS MEAN LARGER THAN LIFE.

Final Rating – 5 / 10. Mass murder has never been so lighthearted. And overrated.

About OGR

While I try to throw a joke or two into proceedings when I can all of the opinions presented in my reviews are genuine. I don't expect that all will agree with my thoughts at all times nor would it be any fun if you did, so don't be shy in telling me where you think I went wrong... and hopefully if you think I got it right for once. Don't be shy, half the fun is in the conversation after the movie.
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