Boondock Saints

5 out of 10


"Tarantino Wannabe"

Not quite a mafia film, nor quite an Irish gangster movie, this stylish but over-the-top action flick sure to inspire hero-worship, stars Sean Patrick Flannery ("Young Indiana Jones"), Billy Connolly and Norman Reedus. It weaves the story of two multi-lingual Irish brothers, Connor and Murphy McManus, who believe they are sent by God to protect the residents of south Boston. Following the old adage we must fear "the indifference of good men" and armed with the mottos of Truth (Veritas) and Equality (Aequitus), the two begin a killing spree, knocking off the bad guys with panache. Meanwhile they are tracked by an equally theatrics-obsessed forensics expert and cross-dressing FBI agent Paul Smecker played by Willem Dafoe.

Many scenes make it worthy of its cult status, not least the bizarre storyline in which it always shows the events leading up to a gun battle, the aftermath and then Smecker reliving the events for the police and hence the audience. In spite of this, an excellent performance by Dafoe, not often seen dark side of Billy Connelly as Il Duce and Sean Patrick Flannery in what may be his first decent role since Young Indiana Jones, it remains largely a mindless, unfocused and grating 110 minutes. Like a comic book, Boondock Saints has all the typical hackneyed plot devices, bizarre villains, charming vigilante-type heros, the odd mafia hitman, high-calibre gun battles and execution style murders, but with gratuitious bits of everything, including 246 derivations of the word "fuck," it has the excessive violence of "Reservoir Dogs" or "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" but none of the cleverness or charm. It is a "Tarentino wannabe" as the New York Times put it.

Originally set to be one of a series, it was made by young first time director and filmmaker, Troy Duffy, who is himself from Boston. As a purely Irish-American film, with more connection to the people of Boston or maybe as British production, "Boondock Saints" might have had a better chance of success as another "Snatch." Instead, being associated with Hollywood studios who clearly did not understand the genre, it suffered the loss of Robert De Niro, originally due to play "Il Duce" and ended up in the hands of Miramax, a distributor who walked out after production was complete, leaving it with a North American release of one week in just 5 cinemas across the continent. It gained underground popularity largely through word of mouth and became an indie cult classic. Although a Boondock Saints 2 is rumored to be in the works, lack of funding and non-returning big name actors have befallen it thus far.

"And Shepherds we shall be
For thee, my Lord, for thee.
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand
Our feet may swiftly carry out Thy commands.
So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
And teeming with souls shall it ever be.
In Nomeni Patri Et Fili Spiritus Sancti."


Great Idea For A TV Series, Grates As A Movie

Film Critic: Jennifer M Lillies
(Of the Ladies Tea Society)