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A scene from THE BOONDOCK SAINTS II: ALL SAINTS DAY (Photo: Apparition/Stage 6 Films)

Written & Directed by
Troy Duffy, based on a story by Troy Duffy & Taylor Duffy
Produced by
Chris Brinker & Don Carmody
Released by Apparition/Stage 6 Films
USA. 121 min. Rated R
Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, Billy Connolly, Clifton Collins Jr., Julie Benz, Peter Fonda, Judd Nelson & David Della Rocco 

The title Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day will either trigger the first of the many cringes this cartoonish, sub-moronic sequel will induce, or, make you violently shudder with excitement if you belong to what the film’s writer and director Troy Duffy calls his fan base. If you are one of the latter, and have been waiting 10 years since The Boondock Saints became a DVD cult hit, you will be relieved to know that one of your own, at the screening I attended, told Duffy, “Thank you for making it not suck.” So be sure to catch it during its (very) limited theatrical run. But if you’re like me, and you have to learn that the Boondock Saints are two quarrelsome Irish vigilante brothers who execute criminals while reciting pseudo-Catholic prayers, take heed.

When the movie opens, we find the brothers have abandoned their street-justice ways and now live with their dad as shepherds in Ireland (which, from the lack of electricity and profusion of coarse, earthen bowls, appears to be set in the time of Cromwell’s occupation). But soon they get word that back in Boston they’ve been framed for the murder of a priest, so after a shower that screams fan service (nude backsides for the ladies and tattoos for the lads, or maybe vice versa), the boys are off to Beantown, where they take on a group of Italian mobsters led by Judd Nelson giving his best Al Pacino impersonation.

For an action-comedy, this has little of either. The shootouts play like a very easy video game, with the heroes standing in place and the villains conveniently lining up and dying in slow motion. For comic relief, Clifton Collins Jr.’s Mexican sidekick keeps saying he comes from a “colorful people,” and is by turns macho and emotional. There are also three bumbling cops looked over by an FBI agent, played by Julie Benz, hot on the boys’ trail. Benz has, arguably, the worst of it. Watching her struggle through Tarantino-lite lines like “Are we using ‘fuck’ now? This is not a ‘fuck’ situation. Maybe a ‘Goddamn’ situation” is as embarrassing as watching a love scene with your mom. 

But in all fairness to Duffy, he at least has no delusions. At the screening I attended, when a fan questioned him about whether Collins’ character ruined the film’s seriousness, he shot back, “What fucking seriousness?”  Exactly. Brendon Nafziger
October 30, 2009



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