The Boondock Saints, a movie made by Troy Duffy, is about two Irish-born brothers, Connor (Sean Patrick Flanery) and Murphy (Norman Reedus) Macmanus. On St. Patrick's Day in Boston, the two brothers go to a bar for a pint and they get into a fight with some Russian mobsters, killing Vladdy and Checov in the process.
The Macmanus start to think that they have been given a mission by God to rid the city of the rot that inhabits it. The brothers launch various expeditions to purge Boston of thugs and mobsters with the aid of their pal Rocco (David Della Rocco), leaving a trail of devastation and bloodshed in their "mission".
F.B.I. agent Paul Smecker (Willem Dafoe) is tasked with looking into the effects of each mission the Macmanus do in the meantime. Smecker's doubts, about whether to arrest the band or accompany them on their mission, grow as he conducts more research.
Why you should watch it?
The independent Troy Duff, a former member of the band "Brood," attempts to emulate Quentin Tarantino's style. The flashback structure, which he borrows from the "master", and takes to extremes (the reconstruction of the crime scene in "real time" is magnificent: the past literally becomes present), gives wings to a work that is increasingly surprising in its comedic and schizoid characterizations (especially the "Duce" killer and Willem Dafoe's transvestite opera lover). Moreover, the absurd "creativity" of the violent sequences (the cat being smashed, the toilet being used inappropriately as a weapon) and the plot, which flows surprisingly into the reactionary and biblical worldview of "eye for an eye" give even more charm to this movie.
The religious thematic is a very important one, since the "work" done by the two brothers, is viewed not only by themselves as "God-blessed", but also a priest (the confessor of the two borthers), who is equally furious about the apathy of the humble as he is unconcerned about the immorality of the heroes, "blesses" the two "brothers, killers, saints" (the film's catchphrase). After a tragic event (the violent death of their friend), the movie transitions from a Tarantino's toy to extremism, embracing an epic tone and closing almost gravely, adoring a new brotherhood of men for a new social order, in the name of a law higher than that of man, coming from the Most High.
Moving to the actors, the only reason Flanery and Reedus work well as the leads is because they look good firing weapons while wearing black jackets and blue jeans. Even though each brother is identical to the other and both characters are pretty dull, they do have strong chemistry as brothers, which helps.
Dafoe is given a number of bizarre and absurd scenes to ponder, including a very peculiar scenario in which he dresses as a man drag queen to enter a residence, but gives still the best interpretation in terms of pure acting. Billy Connolly plays the infamous badass Il Duce, and he does a surprising good job of defying expectations about what he can do.
I can see how The Boondock Saints' became a cult among American youths in the middle of the 2000s. It features several well-known actors acting ridiculously, there is bloody gunplay, and it is entertaining to watch two young men bumble their way through a city, acting as avengers in the name of God. I only wish the antagonists were shown to be actually evil, but most of the time they don't accomplish much to merit being killed by Catholic vigilantes. I'm still perplexed as to why the movie's provoking incident, included three Russians threatening to shut down a bar rather than killing someone the MacManus family cared about.
The Boondock Saints has a thumping rock soundtrack to help keep adrenaline levels up during the shootouts, which are very well staged, it must be said. However, there is a dramatic difference in sound level between the music and the dialogue, which may require you to adjust the volume fairly frequently. The only extra features are deleted scenes and outtakes, though there are audio commentary tracks.
The Boondock Saints has a strong cast, some cool action scenes, and a great score overall, but it is mostly forgettable and, thanks to some sloppy writing that doesn't really give the plot any real direction or the audience any reason to care, it is only really worth watching for a wonderfully tongue-in-cheek performance from Willem Dafoe. So, if the plot and good screenplay is what you're after, there are better movies than this to sit through , but if you are a fan of action movies where you don't want to reason too much about meanings and logic behind the various decisions taken, then this is a perfect choice for you.
This was one of those movies that I knew form the first moment I looked at it, that it wasn't a masterpiece, but despite that, I immediately felt in love with it 😊.
My personal vote is: