Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (UK - DVD R2)
Marcus is wicked not bothered about this action flick but he's still smiling...
With word of a murdered priest reaching the MacManus brothers (Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus) who are hiding out in Ireland, the Boston boys give themselves a shave and a haircut and head back to their hometown to see who’s stirring things up.
Joined by their new Mexican sidekick Romeo (Clifton Collins Jr.), and pursued by FBI agent Eunice Bloom (Julie Benz) the Boondock Saints get back into the thick of it and soon discover this series of events links back deep into their own father’s (Billy Connolly) past.
I’ve seen bits of the original ‘cult classic’ Boondock Saints and have friends who sing its praises, but beyond a little glimmer of internet hype, this sequel didn’t really register on my radar as a must see. Sitting down to watch it for my review I was baffled by just how goofily this movie was put together. The opening scenes, showing the bearded brothers hiding out in Ireland, and their shave and shower scenes getting prepped for their new calling, were just plain ridiculous and weirdly this all seemed intentional.
Meeting the rest of the cast led to more weirdness, with the trio of Boston cops apparently enjoying themselves in their own comedy sketches separate from the actual movie they’re in, Judd Nelson camping it up doing his best Al Pacino impression (but it coming off more like Paul McCartney in the ‘ Let It Be’ era) and the bizarre comedy sensibilities continue with things like the five foot five killer and one of the bad guys' fascination with massages and sun beds (oh, and big hair).
At the centre of all this chaos are the MacManus Brothers. I don’t really know what else Reedus has done but I’ve been a fan of Flanery since his Young Indiana days and his fine turn in Powder, but here, he’s almost unrecognisable and looks a little like a swollen eyed Ed Norton. Together they somehow have a presence as a force to be reckoned with in their Boston turf but there must be something I’ve missed, because they just come off as a couple of goofs who essentially slide their way through a gunfight (by pointing their guns out straight and shooting repeatedly) and finish up by saying a prayer before shooting someone in the head.
The whole movie comes loaded with WTF moments (there are soooo many) and the plot is so loose and largely incoherent in regards to detail that I’m still not 100% sure what bad Italian accented Peter Fonda was trying to achieve by the end but—and this is a really big BUT—this somehow remained entertaining throughout.
I don’t know if any of its intentional but Boondock Saints II is so loosely stylized, so half assed, so sloppy and so...s o... so bloody stupid that somehow it may be one of those movies that surpasses awful and somehow manages to have charm. I mean, on sheer fun levels alone Julie Benz deserves a shout out. She’s eating her scenes alive and throwing out awkward comedy gold. The shoot outs are so badly sticky taped together that you can’t help enjoying the fact the brothers' guns haven’t moved, but people are falling down dead everywhere (hell, most of time I didn’t even feel like the brothers and their targets were even in the same location) and the little throw away dialogue moments between clunky plot discussions are just so damn goofy that I couldn’t help enjoy them. Oh, and why was pretty much every discussed situation rounded up with a ‘getting something in the ass’ description?
With the visuals here more akin to a TV show than a movie, Boondock Saints II does a pretty solid job at looking good. The transfer is clean, full of warm colour presentation, and generally does a passable job. Nothing really pops but this is probably to do with the budget more than anything else. As I said, the movie generally looks and feels like a TV show and the cheapness of the sets aren’t hidden here at all.
Black levels are a little washy and the image is a bit soft in places but it still looks a lot better than most movies of the same ilk do and despite director Troy Duffy having no real sense of pacing with his action scenes (slow motion, loud music and lots of debris flying about seems to be his way) he still knows how to make his lead characters look relatively cool within them (if not ‘wicked’ clichéd).
Pretty much everything lives in the front speakers and if anything shows off the low budget of this sequel it’s the audio.
Action scenes are flaccid and un-engaging as they all consist of terrible dance music with really hushed gunshots and little else. Dialogue is presented well enough but that’s really all this mix cares about because everything else just feels thrown in to add some semblance of what’s expected from the action genre as opposed to thought out. Whooshes and funky camera move sound effects are so half assed and the track is essentially a confined try hard that is so painfully generic that other than the odd peak it really does nothing to sell itself.
The two commentaries (one with writer/director Troy Duffy and actors Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus and Billy Connolly, the other with Duffy again and Willem Dafoe) are both pretty heavily Duffy based. They’re fairly informative and reasonably interesting, especially for a newbie to the franchise but there’s a fair few quiet moments and I got a little bored of both of them way before they ended.
There are a couple of deleted scenes (02:40) and ‘Unprecedented Access: Behind the Scenes’ (24.47), which is the usual raw behind the scenes footage intercut with talking heads interviews. It’s pretty generic stuff but captures a sense of a group of friends getting back together for another bite of the apple and having fun doing so.
‘Billy Connolly and Troy Duffy: Unedited’ (09:00) is the actor and the director laughing up their time together and bigging up the movie (often a little too much) and ‘Merchandise and Games’ is a still image of the soundtrack, T-shirts and other stuff you can buy from the movie.
Lastly there are trailers for ‘Blu-ray is High Definition’, 2012, Zombieland, The Stepfather and Defendor.
With very little evidence to argue that Boondocks Saints II: All Saints Day is anything but a bad movie, I’m still willing to fight its corner as a guilty pleasure. I laughed at more than a handful of the badly presented jokes and even more so at the unintentional ones and the drama is so heavy handed and melodramatic that I couldn’t help taking plenty of comedy value from it.
The disc looks okay and despite the confined audio it does just enough to sell the (badly handled) action scenes and with a good set of extras for Boondock fans, the release has got its targets fixed at the right crowd. In all seriousness, if I’d sat down to watch this movie in a lesser mood my guilty enjoyment of it may very well have been non-existent, so if you are going thinking about rejoining the Saints, go in open minded.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 3rd May 2010
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English, Dolby Digital 5.1 Italian
Subtitles: English, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Extras: Writer/Director and Cast Commentaries, Unprecedented Access: Behind the Scenes Featurette, Billy Connolly and Troy Duffy: Unedited, Merchandise, Deleted Scenes, Trailers
Easter Egg: No
Director: Troy Duffy
Cast: Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, Billy Connolly, Clifton Collins Jr., Julie Benz
Genre: Action, Comedy and Drama
Length: 112 minutes
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