|Posted by Adam Krause on March 8, 2010 at 1:06 PM|
Quite a few years back, a good friend of mine stopped by my house and dropped off an unknown DVD that he had recently purchased at Best Buy for a mere $7. He handed it to me and demanded that I watch it, stating that it was “one of the coolest movies” that he had ever seen. The movie was titled The Boondock Saints and I had never heard of it before.
I found the film to be completely over the top with some mildly interesting scenes and a few chuckles here and there. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t as good as I was promised. You see, my friend was among the herds of people who stumbled across The Boondock Saints on video store shelves and cheap DVD racks and fell in love with the stylized action flick, catapulting it to a cult status. It was this “cult’s” 50 million plus dollars in DVD sales that lead to numerous Boondock Saints Special Edition DVDs, walls of t-shirts in Hot
Topic stores and of course, the inevitable sequel.
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day came to us exactly ten years after the original went straight to DVD in 1999. Only this time, the budget was twice as big and it would be treated to a “theatrical” release. Unfortunately for all parties involved, its time spent in theaters was very short lived and no one really seemed to notice… or care.
And now, hoping to have the same home video success as its predecessor, All Saints Day will be released on DVD March 9th. Now it’s a safe bet to say that the ones who are most looking forward to this DVD release are the die-hard fans of the original, the ones who have the “veritas aequitas” t-shirts and tattoos. But oddly enough, they are the ones who ultimately should skip The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day and not see it. In fact, they should forget it ever happened.
Everything about the sequel comes off as an unintentional parody or spoof of the first one. Sort of like a two-hour-long SNL sketch of The Boondock Saints, but not a funny sketch, one of those sketches that bombs and you can’t wait for it to be over. Writer and director Troy Duffy does everything in his power to mimic that tone and flare that captivated so many people in the original movie, and fails in all categories.
Right from the beginning of the film you get the sense of just how bad it’s going to get when we see the MacManus brothers hiding out in Ireland, riding horses and working on a sheep farm (cause that’s what Irish people do, you know) with two of the worst fake beards I have ever seen in a film. Seriously, they looked like stage props. Once the plot kicks in, we see the Saints begin their voyage back to Boston because someone is knocking off priests and framing them for the crimes and they are not cool with this.
From here on out, the film just plays as a cheap imitation of the first film. Along the journey, the Saints pick up another third wheel for comedic relief, played by Clifton Collins Jr., who ends up not being funny at all. Then another special agent comes on to the case and toys around with the three incompetent Boston detectives who aided the Saints at the end of the first film to publically execute Papa Yakavetta, which is incredibly cheesy and plays out like a bad sitcom. Oh, and then there’s some backstory on “Il Duce,” or Poppa MacManus, in this film, which didn’t happen in the first film but doesn’t make it any more exciting.
All the usual suspects from the first film return to their roles for All Saints Day. Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus reprise their roles as the peacoat wearing , gun toting Saints and Billy Connelly returns as their wise yet deadly father. Julie Benz stars in the film as the special agent and delivers an absolute awful Southern accent and equally unimpressive acting. And Judd Nelson shows up with a ridiculous performance as Concezio Yakavetta, the son of the Russian mobster killed in the first film.
Duffy even brings back deceased fan-favorite Rocco from the first film for a dream sequence because he probably realizes that he killed off the only interesting character that he created. Willem Dafoe originally appeared to be the only educated one to opt out of All Saints Day, only to show up at the end of the film to make a pitiful cameo. Oh, and Peter Fonda, let's just say that is career will not be rejuvenated any time soon.
It’s ironic that in writing and directing a sequel to the film that supposedly proved what an untapped, raw talent that he was as a filmmaker, Troy Duffy only proved what a lack of skill and originality he actually possesses. We get it, gun fights and rosaries falling in slow motion look really cool. I’m fairly certain that if he could have, Duffy would have shot this entire film in slow motion.
I am sure that there are many fans of the The Boondock Saints who are highly anticipating renting All Saints Day and catching up with their favorite Irish vigilantes in this lackluster sequel. Unfortunately, the movie ruins everything good about the first film and I strongly advise them to avoid it for their own benefit. I instead recommend them renting Overnight, the documentary that depicts writer/director Troy Duffy’s quick rise and even quicker fall from the ranks of Hollywood all at the hands of his unintelligence and massive ego. The film is a pretty good indicator at why The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day is as weak as it is.
- Filmmaker and Cast Commentaries from Troy Duffy, Billy Connelly, Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus
- Deleted Scenes
- Unprecedented Access: Behind the Scenes Featurette
- Billy Connolly and Troy Duffy: Unedited