Tuesday, January 12, 2010
MOVIE REVIEW - Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day
EDIT: Synopsis fixed for the Boston-ites/hard core fans.
Oh, what a rush. The Boondock Saints doesn’t really have the greatest reputation among film critics, but I suppose the liberal media would slam movies like these. Being something of the year’s anti-Men Who Stare at Goats, I was pleased with the no holds barred approach of The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. So I’m going to side-step the educated, snob-a-thon critic bullshit this time and praise it for what it is: A movie that hangs its nuts without any intention of putting them away.
After going in to hiding, the death of a priest lures the MacManus Brothers back to Boston for more “gratuitous violence.” But it turns out to be the genesis of a much larger problem that goes back before their conception. Thus, Daddy MacManus steps in to confront his past. Among the returnees are newcomers Clifton Collins Jr. as Romeo and Julie Benz as Agent Eunice Bloom. I wasn’t too keen on their addition at first, but once the movie gets rolling you won’t want them to leave.
While the film attempts to answer some questions about the MacManus family we still get what we came for—More punishment than The Punisher could ditch out. The question of whether or not they’re doing right or wrong is never brought up again. Frankly it doesn’t need to be. Murphy and Connor are completely at piece with their job and firmly believe in destroying evil. What's important is this leads to more over-the-top action sequences, some hysterical dialogue and, yes, the return of the “fucking rope.” Add to the mix Rocco’s cameo (and his cat) which distinctly slams everything Men Who Stare at Goats stood for with, “I am so sick of all of this self help, twelve step, leftover hippie generation bullshit!” and you have a recipe for a man movie. What is a man movie you ask? Many have forgotten. Predator and Dirty Harry fit the bill, but man movies don’t quite jump at you like they use to. I blame George Lucas. I can’t think of any examples since Greedo shot first. That’s another rant for another day.
What’s important to come away with is accepting, and enjoying, how the film makes no apology for being the cinematic equivalent of a hardened assassin. It is an exercise in badassery (yup, my word again) and a non-to-subtle reminder of everything a guy wishes he would be. It spits at political correctness with a grimace and smirks while shooting bad guys. Sure there isn’t much character development, but how do you develop characters as hardened and devout as the MacManus Brothers? While the most interesting players tend to be the new kids and the talented Billy Connelly as “Il Duce” (Papa MacManus), we never lose that aspiring glance we give Connor and Murphy as they slide to their knees with two guns. Why? ‘Cause they’re just that damn cool.
I’m not here to say The Boondock Saints II is the greatest balls out action flick ever, or even of the year, but it is a satisfying sequel with no interest in social sensitivity. It doesn’t make me wonder how right or wrong their actions are like the first one, but I don’t think director Troy Duffy is too concerned with those questions here. No, this time it’s about gifting the fans and keeping The Saints true to their word. Lets top it off with a very surprising ending that begs for another sequel and the politically incorrect extermination of “evil men.” Bring back the MacManus Brothers. I’m ready for round three!
*** out of ****