Review: Boondock Saints 2
PLOT: Ten years later, the boys are back in town. When a priest is killed and the boys are framed, they do exactly what the bad guys expect the MacManus brothers come out of hiding and head back to Boston. Once there, they meet a Hispanic fellow named Romeo, and find some help where they least expect it. As they begin the hunt, the boys find themselves hunted as well. This is exactly what fans of The Boondock Saints would expect from Troy Duffy, a tongue-in-cheek bit of action and bloodshed that refuses to take itself too seriously.
Before I found myself in a theatre, getting ready to witness THE BOONDOCK SAINTS 2: ALL SAINTS DAY, I was hearing a lot of negativity. The reviews were not good, and neither was a bunch of the feedback across the internet. But for me, I was kind of going in with a clean slate. Sure I liked Boondock Saints the many years ago when I saw it, but I wasnt one of the hardcore fans, nor was I ready to pounce and rip it to shreds. What I did do however is have one hell of a good time. There is a moment early on when the MacManus brothers (Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flannery) ask themselves why they cut off their hair. It was such a strange little moment of dialogue, but it also made these two killers much more likable. In fact, the humor here is really what made the film work for me.
The story begins with the murder of a priest made to look like it was committed by the Saints. It is a cruel and disturbing bit of business that brings the two brothers out of hiding. Several years after the original film, the two are living a quiet life in Ireland with Poppa M. (Billy Connolly). But when they hear about the vicious murder, they decide that it is time to return to Boston to show the scum a thing or two about vengeance. Once they arrive, we find that there are a whole lot of people waiting on the Brothers return. Some are terrified of it and others are welcoming of their patron Saints. With all this going on, it seems like it could get a little confusing at times, but writer/director Troy Duffy finds a way to remind us of who the brothers are, without slowing the onslaught of bullets and brawn.
While the original cast returns, with a surprise or two that I wont mention, there are a couple of newcomers that add a little fun to the proceedings. Special Agent Eunice Bloom (Julie Benz) is a southern drawl type of gal who has no problem putting the fellas in their place. Ms. Benz is extremely funny and just a little over-the-top, and she really seems to be relishing playing the role. It is a pleasure to watch her strut her stuff and say the word f*ck a few times. I also have to say that Clifton Collins Jr. as the Mexican sidekick Romeo adds another colorful character to his repertoire. His wide eyed and wild at heart performance offers up some of the funniest material and he handles the humor like a pro. It makes the politically incorrect dialogue all the more fun as he seems to be in on the joke. If you are offended easily, I might add that this may not be the movie for you.
As for the regulars, both Reedus and Flannery are terrific here. The two bounce off each other and clearly have grown into their roles as well as the fans could expect. I appreciated how the two could shift between the humor and drama. Their relationship is incredibly entertaining and most certainly, the fun the two are having translates well for the audience. It is also great to see Billy Connolly play off the boys. There is a familiarity to it all that is very comfortable, yet it still feels quite fresh. The balance between the brutal violence and the almost sweet-natured humor absolutely refreshing . This is truly a film made for the fans (not necessarily for critics), one that is able to recreate some of the best moments of the first film and still interject something new, considering that ten years has passed.
While I had a terrific time with this latest tale, I did have a couple of qualms about this second chapter. My biggest problem was about two thirds or so in. There is so much going on, that close to the end of the second act, it felt like Mr. Duffy was cramming a little too much in. Weve got this character who wants revenge, another character who wants the Saints dead, and it sometimes felt like too much. It really wouldve been enough for two different movies, instead of just one. There is so much story packed in that I think the film might have benefited from trimming some of the characters down. But you never know, maybe it might help to see a directors cut and stretch it out a bit, making room for all of these characters and arcs. Either way, I had a blast with All Saints Day. This is a well cast piece of work that is funny, exciting and just a good time all around. Fans of the first film will definitely find much to love this time around. My rating 8/10 -- JimmyO
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