Pros: Everything the first movie was and more
Cons: Leaves you wishing for more
If you saw The Boondock Saints and enjoyed it and you haven’t heard of the sequel, then you need to go see it. I liked the first Boondock Saints, it wasn’t a great masterpiece like some people paint it out to be, but it was a fun, enjoyable, violent film with a sharp sense of humor. All of the qualities that made the Boondock Saints such a great movie are not lost in the sequel, if anything they are played to greater effect and are more realized. I think the first Boondock Saints was kind of a fluke, Troy Duffy had no experience, nothing film related on his record, but he wrote the script and Mirimax picked it up, after almost fu*king the entire deal, he finally got it made and released, where it failed (partially due to being released the same week as Columbine) but has achieved almost legendary cult status on dvd. Now, up until about two months ago, I was under the impression that this movie was never getting made, I had followed the news on this for about three years and all signs pointed to this project being deader than Troy Duffy’s career. Then, all of the sudden he managed to get it made completely off the radar and is out in theatres now. It is limited release so you may have to look around, but my god let me tell you, if this movie isn’t a breath of fresh air, I don’t know what is.
It’s been 8 years since the events of the Boondock Saints have went down. Connor and Murphy are living in Ireland with their father II Duce, just enjoying a simple life (they have also grown massive beards). When their childhood priest gets murdered in the same style of their murders, Connor and Murphy must return to Boston to settle some old scores. On a ship to America, they meet a Mexican who can fight, Romeo who wants to join their quest. After some reluctance they allow him, he knows where the mafia figures behind this are in Boston and they team up. FBI agent Eunice Bloom is in charge of the murder of the priest, and she knows that it could not have been the Saints. She teams up with them to take down the man responsible for all this, Concezio Yakavetta.
Simply put, this movie was awesome. There’s just no other way I could describe it. It is awesome like the first movie, and it does not disappoint in the action. The Saints kill mafia figures and anyone else who stands in their way, and it pays off. Honestly, All Saints Day is not anything new, Troy Duffy doesn’t try anything too crazy or different from the first movie. Romeo is basically playing Rocco, Eunice is Paul Smecker, but I don’t care. Troy Duffy knows his strengths and he plays to them, there is strong drama but it isn’t anything close to sentimental, the movie is too lost in trying to be badass to try anything like that. It may sound like this is nothing more than a remake of the first movie, but that’s a bit unfair, there are a lot of surprises and twists. Even the Father gets a substantial subplot that plays into the climax in the film. There is multiple antagonist, and they are all interesting and fun to watch. The mob this time is Italian as opposed to Russian from the last movie, and the whole setup may just be an excuse to get them back into action, but it doesn’t matter, this film is not high art, it’s a guy flick pure and simple, and Troy Duffy knows what he is doing.
Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus have not lost their touch since the original and they are as good as ever as the brothers MacManus. Billy Connoly gets much more screen time this time, and he is still great. New to the show is Clifton Collins Jr. who is confident and capable in his role. He may be filling in for David Della Rocco, and that’s not an easy thing to do, so to his credit he does a wonderful job. His performance is full of life and joy, and brings a real sense of fun to the film. Julie Benz does a remarkably good job as Eunice. She is witty, sarcastic, and incredibly intelligent. She may be the replacement for William Dafoe, but she fills in well and adds a strong female character to the film. Deliciously over the top is Judd Nelson as Yakanvetta. His role as the main bad guy is a joyous experience and he just goes all over the play with it. Judd Nelson might not get much work as of lately but he has not lost his touch. Peter Fonda is good in his smaller but still important role as the Roman. He is fairly subdued but still delivers. The acting is great, the three detectives from the first (Greenly, Dolly, and Duffy) and they are still in top form. The actors obviously had a fun time filming this, and I think it shows.
All Saints Day is not politically correct in the slightest. There are many racial, homosexual, and sexist slurs. If you’re easily offended this may not be the best choice. But it’s all done in relatively good humor and isn’t intended to be offensive or anything but could give some people the wrong idea. All Saints Day doesn’t always make a ton of sense, I’m not entirely sure why it seems to be the Italian mob they are up against when Yakanvetta was the Russian mob bosses son. There are also some scenes that make no logical sense, this includes a flashback that is actually a dream sequence with Rocco. But it doesn’t really matter. The movie is enjoyable all the same, and with a movie like this, it’s probably better to just not ask too many questions. Currently, this sits at a measly 20% on the Tomatometer. This did not sit well with critics, I’m not entirely sure why. A lot of negative stuff has been “More of the Same” “Racist” “Style over substance” “Overlong” and even the few critics that like it say it’s not exactly a good movie. But seriously, don’t listen to the critics on this one, they hated the first Boondock Saints also (it’s at 16%). If there’s one movie you should listen to the critics on, it’s Bad Lieutenant, but for some reason they all hated this one. I can’t really say this enough, if you liked the first one, then you will undoubtedly like this one.
Boondock Saints II All Saints Day hits just about all the right notes. It’s not a masterpiece or high art like the first one, but also like the first one, this is a rocking good time. It’s a guy move, lots of blood, violence, girls, full of testosterone, and exploding with energy, but it’s also incredibly enjoyable and a blast to watch. It’s politically incorrect, but I don’t think that’s something to really complain about. It’s a refreshing change from the usual Hollywood crop and is a hell of a good time. I guess if I have one compliant it’s that they falsely lead you to think there is going to be an awesome scene, but it ends, and it makes sense with the ending and only leaves you wishing there was more. At two hours the time just flies by. I don’t care if it takes another ten years; I will gladly watch Boondock Saints 3, even if it is just more of the same. Maybe Troy Duffy will do something new or maybe not, but I’m sure he’ll be open to continuing his series. It’s a great movie, not going to win any Oscars, but frankly I’m sick of all those movies. If you can find this in theatres, I highly recommend it, if you were a fan of the first, then you need to see this.
Sean Patrick Flanery – Connor MacManus
Norman Reedus – Murphy MacManus
Billy Connolly – II Duce
Clifton Collins Jr. – Romeo
Julie Benz – Eunice Bloom
Peter Fonda – The Roman