The original Boondock Saints will never be surpassed in quality, comedy, or violence. That being said, I wasn’t disappointed by Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. However, what in God’s name happened to Sean Patrick Flanery’s face? In the opening scene, I turned to my date and said, “It’s not the same guy!” I went through the entire flick, saying, “It’s not the same guy!” Then, dang it, the credits rolled, and it WAS the same guy! He just looked…well, he looked OLD. This is what ten years does to a person, even though Norman Reedus hadn’t changed a bit. It’s always the hot guys who get puffy…
Boondock Saints II catches up with the MacManus brothers (with papa, too) in Ireland, where they’ve been hiding out since the initial rampage of 1999. They’ve gotten soft. More accurately, they’ve gotten bored and bearded, until someone kills a priest back home in Boston. Of course, they must avenge the priest, so home they go, to kill some bad dudes. And kill they do. The action sequences aren’t quite as good as the original. They do try and mimic the feel and camera angles. It is, after all, from the same director—Troy Duffy—who has a penchant for slow motion shots and spurting blood (and who has never directed anything but Boondock Saints films).
It’s not a spoiler to say David Della Rocco (aka “Rocco”) makes a cameo. How could he not? His comic relief was a key part of Boondock Saints. (Remember the tirade about a dead cat and buying smokes? CLASSIC.) They’ve replaced a fruity and genius Willem Dafoe with Julie Benz, of Dexter fame, and she’s okay. She has some good one-liners, but there’s a dumb part involving her in a cowgirl outfit that made me want to smack myself in the head. There’s also an ill-advised dream sequence that made me want to go beyond smacking myself in the head and straight on to banging my head on the theater railing.
The storyline is more in depth in Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. We actually learn about these characters. We find out plenty of background on daddy Saint (Billy Connolly), and there is a message, beyond the moral qualm of “Is killing bad guys really bad?” tackled in the original. And I like the question you’re left with when you leave: “Are bad people born or are bad people made?”
My favorite part—the part that made me laugh until I was giggling until I couldn’t breathe until I was making a scene in public—is a semi redo of the drunk saints/dead cat scene in the original. Takes place in their favorite pub. Involves the pub owner with Tourette syndrome. Involves tons of Bushmill’s and cigarettes. And of course, cuss words. You’ll know when it happens, because it will feel familiar, like you have slipped back to 1999 and a handsome Sean Patrick Flanery. It is this among many touches of Duffy, Flanery, and Reedus that make Boondock Saints II worth seeing. If you loved the first one, you will at least enjoy the second.
And yes, when all was said and done, I couldn’t resist a good old shot of Irish whiskey of my own. Happy St. Patrick’s Day in December.