Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Boondock Saints Retrospective: The Boondock Saints II - All Saints Day (2009)

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day
Directed By: Troy Duffy
Starring: Norman Reedus, Sean Patrick Flannery, Billy Connolly, Julie Benz, Judd Nelson, Clifton Collins Jr
Rated: R

Let's do some gratuitous violence.
      ~Murphy MacManus

After becoming a cult phenomenon for about 10 years, someone finally felt there was a market for a sequel and Troy Duffy was allowed to touch filmmaking again.  The result was the sequel to his Boondock Saints that rallied the troops for another adventure.  After the events of the final scene of the first film, the saints and their father have taken to hiding in Ireland until someone copycatting their execution style on a priest brings them out of the woodwork and back to...Boston.
I'm gonna come out and say it right away.  This film is garbage.  I didn't like it at all.  Everything I took issue with is back in full force and even worse here.  If the first film was a college-level kind of enjoyment, this film was somewhere around the 5th grader to middle schooler range.  Its an incredibly homophobic, racist and misogynistic adventure that had me completely tuned out and ready to turn it off within the first 15 minutes.  But, I didn't, because I'm a slave to this retrospective cause.
We're dragged back into the world on what turns out to be an even thinner device than the first movie.  In fact, this film really is just another go-round doing the exact same things as the first film, just disguised as a progression in the adventure.  And this time, those super awesome saints are even less interesting this time around because we already know them.  Nothing changes with them, there's no real arc for the guys except for same 'ol same.  There's no real solid good reason to be dragged back into this universe except for the fans just wanting more (which is usually a reason for sequels, yes, but sometimes at least the creator will take it somewhere).
The biggest thing missing from this film that completely carried the previous one is Willem DaFoe.  I adore Julie Benz, but she is a MASSIVE step down here.  She's also just a complete copy of DaFoe's character, just gender-swapped, leaving Benz to sort of just mock his performance in the first film and isn't allowed to bring much of her own twist to the film.  But, I must admit, she does look really good and sells her sexiness better than most of the projects she's a part of.
Troy Duffy's 2nd effort also feels like its trying to hard.  Everything that comes out of the character's mouth sounds like it wants to be some ridiculous quote.  And most of the venom spewed is extremely juvenile and just makes the writer (Duffy) sound like a complete asshat.  There's a lot of rape jokes and Mexican jokes (Clifton Collins Jr you should be ashamed for taking this role) that are meant to be laughed at, but come across like a child that really doesn't know any better and probably needs some better parenting.  It also doesn't help that few people in this movie can actually act, leaving most of it playing as if people are just reciting lines off a script and not performing them.
While I didn't like the first film as much as plenty of you told me you did, it was at least watchable and somewhat interesting at times.  I'm not going to be kind here, this film is terrible.  It's a film that is completely full of itself because the previous movie became a cult sensation.  It thinks its hot shit.  I'd also like to propose a drinking game for every time some cracks their neck in this film.  So, when it comes to a Boondock Saints thanks I'll pass.  But, the best thing we got from this series was the documentary Overnight, for which I'm at least thankful to the first movie for.  But, yeah, if you've not ventured to Boondock Saints II, don't.  It's a flat out bad sequel.

NEXT RETROSPECTIVE: Bubba's turning 40!

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