on August 1, 2001
It seems like the only way anyone hears about this movie, its either from fanatic word of mouth or from seeing it sitting in Blockbusters. Thats a shame, because this first outing by director Troy Duffy is an extremely cool film that deserves all the attention it can get.
Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus play two good ole Irish Catholic boys in Boston, who one day get sick of the corruption in the city and begin a bloody crusade to wipe it out. Willem DaFoe plays the FBI agent hot on their trail, who is torn between bringing the mysterious vigilantes to justice, or joining their crusade.
The film is, simply put, cool. Its one of the only movies that actually make going to church look cool. Don't be fooled by the description, however; this is not an action movie. Do not expect blazing gun battles with crazy angles and MTV like editing. This is a film about morality, doing what one thinks is right, and having codes of honour. It's about all those things, and how close they may sometimes get to walking the edge between good and evil.
The two actors who play the Irish vigilantes are great in their roles, playing the boys not as superheroes, but as regular joes with a huge chip on their shoulder. A nice twist in the film is DaFoe's portrayel of the FBI agent, who also happens to be gay. He plays him as a great character without being tempted to dip into stereotypes. Great job by the versatile actor.
This is definately a movie not to be missed. If you are fortunate to see this in your video store, take it out and enjoy.
on July 9, 2002
If you are a big fan of sleeper films, then this should be #1 on your movies to rent list. After you watch it, it will be #1 on your movies to buy list. This movie will really toy with you from the very beginning. As an action movie, you see the results of the action sequence before you see the actual scene. By doing this, the director keeps you on the edge of your seat, dying to know what happened and how. After the first sequence like this, you will be glued to your TV. Personally, I enjoyed this style of storytelling immensly because it was very fresh. This movie has an original plot, great character development, fantastic dialogue and several extremely humorous scenes. Oh, and great action too. For the DVD fan, there are great special features. The deleted scenes are some of the best I have ever seen, and I wish that they had been left in the theatrical release. I can only hope for a directors cut somewhere down the line. Willem Dafoe and Sean Patrick Flannery put forth a fantastic performance
in this quirky, perfectly paced and very slickly directed sleeper. In the universe of sleeper movies, Boondock Saints is one of the best ever.
on October 25, 2004
There are movies that when they are initially released are underground successes that suddenly and without warning become iconic when they reach the mainstream audience once they are released on VHS/DVD. Can Boondock Saints be considered one of these rare films? Definitely!
The titular Saints are two Irish brothers, Connor and Murphy McManus (Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus) who find themselves turned from ordinary citizens in their Irish neighborhood in South Boston into vigilante heroes on a self-ordained mission of God to rid their neighborhood of the Russian Mob.
It starts when they get into a fistfight in their local bar and nearly end up getting killed by the mobsters who visited the bar, but instead end up killing the mobsters in the most inventive way imaginable. However, the duo believe that they are messengers of God's vengeance and go on a violent seek and destroy mission to get the head boss, teaming up with one of their closest friends (David Della Rocco).
Meanwhile, as the body count begins to rise, an FBI agent (Willem Dafoe) with a few eccentricities is assigned to the case and uses his unique way of reconstructing what happened at the crime scenes (which we vividly see in the flashbacks) in such a way that makes the team of CSI look more like grade school rookies.
As the two sides converge on the ultimate climax in the final battle to take down the boss, a third unexpected variable is thrown into the mix when (via flashback)a mysterious gunman with some tie to the Saints (I won't give it away)appears at one ot the crime scenes.
The film is definitely an amazing debut for director Troy Duffy, using actors who really make you feel the story and relationships (especailly Flannery and Reedus) as it progresses to the end and characters that (at times unintentionally) make you laugh out loud. And there are some scenes that are violent yet stylish and fun and one scene involving a cat and a gun that might stun some and make others bust a gut, and I know from personal experience when I saw this scene for the first time.
There are some rumors that a possible Boondock Saints 2 is in the works, and if so I'm definitely in to see it but hopefully it will be released to a much wider base than the original. But if you like a little vigilantism with a touch of dark humor, then you definitely have to get the Boondock Saints.
on June 1, 2006
I love the Boondock Saints. It's funny and action packed all at once. Naturally, when the special edition came out I jumped right on it. But, upon viewing it I realized the only thing extended in the "unrated" edition were the fight scenes. I figured they'd put in all the "deleted scenes" from the special features. I was very disappointed in that. I can't see a glaring difference between the rated/unrated editions. I'm just as happy with my first version, the only thing they seem to make better is the box the dvd comes in.
It only takes a few minutes to draw a comparison between Troy Duffy's "The Boondock Saints" and almost any Quentin Tarentino film. As I watched this breathtaking movie, I snickered to myself over realizing this little fact. I figured few others would make the connection. Boy, was I wrong! It seems that anyone who has seen "Boondock Saints" immediately thinks of "Pulp Fiction" or "Reservoir Dogs." Moreover, a lot of people do not like the idea of Duffy ripping off such a noble American icon. Perhaps they have forgotten that Tarentino has based his entire career on borrowing or outright ripping off ideas from 1960s and 1970s cinema. I could care less whether Duffy imitated "Pulp Fiction" or whether he arrived at this idea on his own. Hollywood routinely begs, borrows, and steals in an effort to make a buck. The recent trend of remaking older films is only one aspect of this philosophy, so complaining about some filmmaker copying a specific style is a moot point. "The Boondock Saints" is an enormously entertaining way to spend a couple of hours and, despite a few flaws, may attain a cult status rivaling anything made by Quentin Tarentino. This is how it should be.
Connor and Murphy MacManus (Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus respectively) are two Irish brothers who spend their days drinking at the local pub and working in a local meatpacking plant. They don't do much with their free time outside of lounging around their filthy loft and hanging around with unbalanced people like their friend David Rocco, a minor criminal who longs to join the local branch of the mafia. Trouble rears its ugly head when some Russian gangsters move into the neighborhood and threaten to close down the neighborhood bar. After a fistfight leads to a couple of killings in an alley, the boys realize they may be in a spot of trouble with local law enforcement. Actually, they are in more trouble than they realize at first when an FBI agent by the name of Paul Smecker arrives on the scene. The inept local cops stand around throwing out all sorts of weird, implausible theories about these corpses in the alleyway, but Smecker moves in and figures it all out in an enormously hilarious and ingenious way. By slapping on some headphones pumping out classical music and prancing around the scene checking things out, Smecker tells the cops what happened, when it happened, and who probably did it. Sure enough, the MacManus boys sheepishly arrive at the local cop shop, bloodied and bandaged from their tussle with the Russkies, and confess to the crime.
Fortunately for Connor and Murphy, Agent Smecker takes a real shine to these gregarious youngsters and releases them from jail. After all, the whole incident was merely a case of self-defense gone horribly bloody. But something strange happens to the MacManus brothers after this incident; they suddenly think they receive a calling from God to rid the streets of criminals. Checking in at the local armory of the Irish Republican Army (this is Boston, after all) and arming themselves to the teeth, Connor and Murphy use information gleaned from their encounter with the low-level mafia goons to stage a mission against the bosses of the Russian Mob. Other jobs soon follow, all apparently sanctioned and sanctified by the Almighty. The boys are so successful they soon draw in the assistance of David Rocco, who, with his vast knowledge of Boston's underworld, provides a list of criminals who deserve to die. As the body count rises, Smecker comes closer to learning the identities of these homegrown vigilantes. The fact that the FBI agent undergoes a crisis of conscience over the crimes--he quickly realizes these murders are the work of citizens fed up with crime--leads him to secretly help the men responsible for the killings. Throw in a bunch of Mafia thugs, adult film star Ron Jeremy as a doomed hoodlum, a vicious, mystical killer named "Il Duce" (played by Billy Connolly, still atoning for "Head of the Class"), stylish gunplay, and an exploding cat and you have all the makings of this marvelous movie.
"The Boondock Saints" is a film about vigilantism and whether that activity is ever justifiable, although that theme seems to disappear for most of the movie. The conclusion, too, ends up being just a little too implausible, but getting there is a boatload of fun. The best things about Duffy's film are the whipsaw quick dialogue, the hilarious running gags, and Willem Dafoe as Agent Paul Smecker. Dafoe especially deserves accolades for his portrayal of a conflicted FBI agent whose sympathies eventually turn to the MacManus brothers. His way of solving crimes, especially the shootout between Il Duce and the two vigilantes, is not only brilliantly executed but a wonder to watch. Moreover, Smecker's interactions with the local Irish cops provide endless opportunities for great dialogue and hilarious jokes.
Regrettably, a bit of overacting at certain points of the film quickly annoys, as does the failure to provide anything more than lip service to vigilantism and how it pertains to our ultra violent world, but "The Boondock Saints" is so much fun despite these flaws that you will hardly notice them. The DVD includes many extras, such as important deleted scenes, a commentary by Troy Duffy, and a widescreen presentation. There's even talk of an impending sequel, although the absence of the Willem Dafoe character, if the reports are true, could cause significant problems. There is not any other way to say it: if you have not seen "The Boondock Saints," run, do not walk, to the local video store and buy or rent a copy today.
on June 25, 2009
For years now I've heard a lot about The Boondock Saints and how great and underrated it is. I hate to admit it but I just now got around to seeing it.
The film was really captivating and never boring. To quickly sum it up it's about two brothers who decide to take the law into their own hands. Being a fan of "vigilante" films I was quickly drawn into the movie. While it's not all action and violence, there's definitely plenty of it here...But it takes a second seat to the story which is very refreshing since a lot of movies of this ilk are all flash and no depth.
My only complaint lies with the blu-ray transfer. It seems like it's just the dvd transfer upscaled which is a little dissapointing. Some scenes look pretty good, while others have some heavy grain. The sound is good though, thankfully. Extra wise you're getting two commentaries, deleted scenes, outtakes, a printable script, and a trailer.
Even with the dull transfer, I'd recommend this to any fan of crime cinema...You won't regret checking this one out.
The Boondock Saints (Troy Duffy, 2001)
Despite a surfeit of talent and some of the funniest dialogue since Quentin Tarantino picked up a pen, Troy Duffy's feature film debut, The Boondock Saints, went straight to video. Considering the nauseating stuff that comes out of Hollywood these days, it's probably not a surprise-the better something is, the less chance it will ever see a big screen. Case in point: right here. Two Irish brothers (The Dead Zone's Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus, recently seen in Blade 2) try to prevent the closing down of an Irish bar on St. Patrick's Day by the Russian mafia. Things go wrong, but the right guys wind up dead. While the murder is investigated by the oddest FBI agent you're likely to find on a screen for the past twenty years (Willem Dafoe), the brothers, along with their halfwit sidekick Funnyman (David Della Rocco-whose character has the same given name as the actor) from the Italian mob, decide that vigilantism seems like the right path to be taking with their careers. The boys form the Boondock Saints and start cleaning up the streets, and the more the FBI Agent sees of their work, the more conflicted he gets as to whether he should be catching them or aiding them. The mobs-both Russian and Italian-are not so happy, and so they recruit a stone killer known only as Il Duce (Billy Connolly, who's been in so many good movies he should've been in Hollywood's A-list a decade ago) to take the Saints on.
Sound complicated? It is. It's also miles and miles of fun. Not for the weak of stomach-the dialogue is not the only way in which Duffy's work resembles Tarantino's. Also not for those who sour quickly on profanity. For the rest of us, this is a treat, a movie with speed-of-light pacing, snappy dialogue, lots of things blowing up, and more panache than you can shake a stick at, pal.
Thankfully, The Boondock Saints has hit cult status on video, prodding Duffy to once again take up the pen, hire back all the survivirs from the first film, and start shotting Boondock II: All Saints Day. With any luck, Duffy will get himself a big-screen release and this movie will get the attention it has long deserved from a much wider audience. ...
on March 2, 2004
Connor ( Sean Patrick Flanery) and Murphy ( Norman Redus) McManus are two fraternal twin brothers that are highly religious and are basically thought of as saints. However, thou shall not kill is the only commandment that they cannot keep. When a sadistic Russian mob starts to force its way into their South Irish Boston neighborhood, they know what they have to do. They set out to rid the streets of every gangster, criminal, and lowlife. In their eyes they are serving God's vengenance. As the bodycount rises, they become local heroes to the world around them. Paul Smecker( Willem Dafoe) is a gay FBI agent who is assigned to the case. While he agrees with the McManus brothers are doing, Paul is forced to do his job. He must now use his extremely unorthodox and brilliant methods of investigation to bring the Mcmanus brothers down.
Before I watched this film, I was very skeptical because the movie came straight to video. However, "Boondock Saints" turned out to be one of the best films I have ever seen. If I had to describe the film, I would classify it as a modern day morality tale that is driven by vengenance and determination. The film features an outstanding mix of comedy and intense action. There are moments in the film when you will be laughing your head off. The dialogue in this film is first rate. There are other moments in the film however, where you will be shocked at the countless violence. The shoot out scenes are extremely well done. Perhaps one of the best things about the film, is the creativity that the McManus brothers use for some of their kills. The performances given in this film are suprisingly good!! Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus are outstanding as the McManus brothers. However, the best performance of the movie hands down goes to Willem Dafoe as Paul Smecker. It is the best performance of his career in my opinion. Watching Paul work is very entertaining. His methods are unorthodox, intelligent, and entertaining!
Overall, "Boondock Saints" is a great film. It features an excellent mix of comedy and action, the gunplay in this film is first rate, and the performances given from the actors involved could not have been better. The DVD is very affordable and has commentary by writer and director Troy Duffy, deleted scenes, and outtakes. The presentation of the film is also excellent and delivers top notch picture and sound quality.
on January 10, 2004
Especially to a movie that was never in theaters since it came out too close to the Columbine shootings. (Honestly which was ridiculous.)
Moving on, my review of the movie of course is as biased as the rest. I loved it from beginning to end. It's hard to describe (in a worthwhile way) unless you see it yourself. The plot was told to me by a cousin and I really didn't want to watch it, but not even half the way through the movie I was in love with it, and bought my own copy days later.
The movie itself: Two fraternal twin brothers; Connor and Murphy MacManus who somehow speak 5 languages yet work in a meat packing plant get into a barfight one night, the same men bust down their door the next morning with the intent to kill Murphy outside (who really has the 'younger' brother mentality) while Connor (obviously he's the 'older' twin) is helplessly chained inside.
They -both- incidentally save each other from that predicament and later get 'baptized' and realize their calling in life is to "Destroy all that which is evil...", "So all that is good may flourish.".
The chemistry was amazing, with the brothers most of all. Arguably the bond Connor and Murphy shared is what made the movie stick.
The movie should really be watched, anyone's reviews/comments be damned. Much, much more good has been said about it than bad and has developed a HUGE cult/word of mouth/etc. following by only coming out on video DVD and only publicly advertised when done so.
You really should at one point check out the Special Features of the DVD, they will tell you a lot. Especially the 'Ma calls form Ireland' Deleted Scene. It tells you about how their father left, how the brothers are actually fraternal twins and some other facts, amusing and not.
Troy Duffy's audio commentary helps out a lot. Especially to the smarks with idiotic questions that didn't watch the movie close enough. Heh. ;) He'll tell you the real meanings behind some scenes (Like the "baptism") and what his 'vision' was.
It was a low budget movie remember so it's not like everything is perfect and all is explained and pretty like that of Armageddon and Titanic here. ~_^
Overall: Great movie, solid performances, shocking/funny/dramatic all at nearly perfect times. Check it out, really is worth it. Also great for any fan of Willem DaFoe, Norman Reedus or Sean Patrick Flanery.
on June 19, 2004
If you are looking for genius film making, then this is not your movie. If you are looking for an epic tale with beautiful landscapes, then this is not your film. If you are looking for a movie with more plot twists and turns that a windy mountain road, then this is not your film. The thing is... it never promised to be those things. This is a movie that appeals to the "we could kill everbody" aspect inside of every male. (It is my experience that women loathe this movie.) It will also appeal to your ideals of justice and make you ask "what if?" The movie is also incredibly quote-worthy. Being a sucker for good dialogue, that makes or breaks a movie for me.