Two Irish brothers accidentally kill mafia thugs. They turn themselves in and are released as heroes. They then see it as a calling by God and start knocking off mafia gang members one by one. Willem Dafoe plays the detective trying to figure out the killings, but the closer he comes to catching the Irish brothers, the more he thinks the brothers are doing the right thing.Written by
Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, the glory, now and forever. Amen.
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Clips of people being interviewed about their opinions on "the saints" are shown while the credits roll. See more »
There's nothing more frustrating than somebody who doesn't get the joke. The punchline rolls by and he's left sitting theregazing awkwardly into space struggling to figure it all out. Troy Duffy's first feature film, "The Boondock Saints," rests in that type of eternal limbo. At first glance, it seems to bounce back and forth from payoff to payoff, giving the audience a good deal to chuckle about. But, as the film keeps rolling, we begin to get the feeling that "The Boondock Saints" is becoming choked-up by its own gag. Half-way through, the uncomfortable silence of an unrealized ruse seeps into the room. And, sadly it becomes apparent that the filmmakers don't quite get their own joke.
"The Boondock Saints" is a simplistically rendered adult-male fairytale. Whereas children relish in tales of knights and princesses, Duffy makes his Camelot a kingdom adorned with stylized hit-man and generic mafiosos. Two Irish Brothers (Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus) attempt to save the world from the evil and the corrupt by becoming (what else?) the embodiment of a Tarantino fanboy's fantasy. Adorned with dark sunglasses and nifty accents, the MacManus twins strut around the streets of Boston, muttering pleasing Catholic prayers in a futile attempt to somehow try to veil their inherent vacancy. Amidst all the good natured killing is a gay cop, played by Willem Dafoe with bombastic comedic zest, who is attempting to stop these vigilantes with hearts of gold. Dafoe's charactereasily the most charismatic of the bunchis a walking, talking caricature. He smiles and slaps around his compatriots, all the while flicking his bouffant into the air like a swimsuit model leaving the ocean.
This is all not to say that "The Boondock Saints" is a complete failure. Sure, it's over-the-top, but at least there are plenty of gun shootouts and interesting carnage to keep the ball rolling. The slightly non-linear story is managed well. As Dafoe handles one crime scene, we get to see the whole shindig played out in real-time. It's a slow-motion gunfighter's dream! Bodies fall and bullets soar as Dafoe reenacts the entire massacre with emphatic precision.
The true problem with the film is that it is so engrossed in its own mythos, that it actually takes itself seriously. This becomes apparent as haunting cathedral choir musical adorns the madness with Gothic foreboding. All the while, we're shaking our head wondering why Duffy isn't capable of accepting the ridiculousness of his own creation. Heck, even porn star Ron Jeremy enters the fray, but the movie doesn't pause to giggleinstead it continuously plugs along with repetitive and ruthless abandon. It seems that Duffy actually believes that not only is what the MacManus brothers doing rightbut that it is actually possible. In that sense, "The Boondock Saints" is like the elephant in the roomthe dinner party guess who fails to get the big joke. And, not surprisingly, the audience isn't laughing.
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