21 February 2011

Movies: The Boondock Saints; The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day; Boondock Saints III: Boondock Boogaloo

I couldn't watch Boondock Saints II without first revisiting the original Boondock Saints movie. Because the original is just that good it has to be watched again again.

The Boondock Saints http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0144117/
Plot: After Irish fraternal twins kill Russian mobsters in self-defense, they are inspired to become vigilantes - taking out the worst criminals who continue to walk free. And maybe, just maybe, the FBI and police are willing to look the other way...
Stars Willem Dafoe, Sean Patrick Flanery, Billy Connolly, Norman Reedus.
This movie has humor, violence, gunplay, violence, lots of cursing including one of the funniest streams of the word fuck (fuck, and variations of, is said 246 times), violence. And a kitty cat. And violence.
The way the story unfolds, the way they cut scenes together, really keeps the flow of the story interesting. Generally you'll see a set up to a situation, the aftermath, then get filled in on what happened between.
Dafoe brilliantly plays his FBI agent character to the fullest. He's the ugliest woman you'll see in the film.

Even having watched this movie many times before, it hasn't aged or got old. One of those flicks that you don't care you already know the whole movie, it is entertaining to watch it again anyhow.
If you've never seen it, and enjoy violent action movies with decent story and great character acting - this movie is a must see.

(And I said "again again" up there on purpose. Because it is what I meant and it does make sense.)

Enough praise for the original. Time to get to the sequel. Here's to hoping it doesn't suck.

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1300851/
Plot: The twins and their Da have been hirsutely peacefully living in Ireland after the events at the end of the first flick. Someone kills a priest back in Boston using a similar execution style (double-tap to the back of the head, coins on the eyes). Word gets back to the Saints, the brothers head to Boston to punish the interloper.
The good: The major cast reprises their roles. Rocco and the cat return in a dream sequence. The last half hour or so of the movie after Papa Saint (Billy Connolly) joins his boys in Boston. The meat of the story which gives us Papa Saint's background, tells us how he ended up in prison (where we first meet him in the 1st movie), and how everything ties the two movies together. Again - this is all in the last half hour or so of the movie.
Julie Benz looks much better in a dress than Willem Dafoe.
Peter Fonda.
The mediocre: Poor little ol' Julie Benz has to take on a character that parallels Willem Dafoe's character in the first flick. Similar job for the FBI, shows up after the murder of the priest that was supposed to be pinned on the Saints, steps through crime scenes and recreates them step-by-step to the astonishment of all the idiot detectives that the Boston police keeps on staff. She tries, she really tries.
Judd Nelson.
The bad: the first hour+ of the movie, with a couple of exceptions, basically sucks.
Poor little ol' Julie Benz has to have some horrible southern accent. She tries to parallel Dafoe's performance - with the ballet-like gestures dancing through crime scenes, sticking earplugs in her ears (instead of listening to opera). I think they asked too much to parallel a Dafoe character performance, especially from Julie Benz. She's okay as an actress, but she's no Dafoe.
But it isn't just her. Because Rocco died in the first flick they had to have a Rocco replacement named Romeo. He aint no Rocco. And we're reminded of that fact constantly.
The three stooges detective team from the first flick return, supporting the Saints once again. But they have lost the magic of their roles and are sortof wastes of time on screen this time around.
-
The movie tries to revisit almost all the little things that made the first movie so good. Except they are so forced it is painful. The dialog is nowhere near as snappy. The motivations are way more muddy, some come out of nowhere. The story telling style of setup, aftermath, fill in the blanks is clumsy in comparison to the first flick's delivery.

Despite the fail that comprises the first hour and 10-20 minutes of the flick, the last half hour or so really makes the movie worth watching, especially if you are a fan of the original movie. I suppose the first 3/4 of the flick is necessary to give some background to lead up to the last 1/4 of the movie, but it is not an enjoyable sit-through the way the whole original movie was. I don't know if watching BDS II would be worse if you hadn't watched the original immediately before or not. Chances are, as memories tend to take on a positive shine with time, the sequel might actually feel worse to the palette if a long period of time has elapsed between original and sequel viewings.
BDS II might actually work better if you've never seen the original, ever. But then it'd make you hungry to watch the first movie. Then you'd sit there and curse the 2nd movie for failing in comparison.

my take: If you're a fan of The Boondock Saints, the original movie, you can't help but have to see this sequel. Just know you have to put up with the first 3/4 of the movie.
If you feel compelled to see BDS II but haven't seen the first movie - see the first movie. See how good it really was.

Boondock Saints III: Boondock Boogaloo
This movie doesn't exist. But that's where the sequels are headed if the writer/director doesn't tighten his shit up.

(original post 12 Jun 2010)

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