In honor of St. Patrick’s Day yesterday, I decided to finally view this movie to find out if it had much in common with its successful cult classic predecessor. This movie made me almost forget everything I enjoyed about the original. If you are an incredibly devoted Boondock Saints fan, you’ll probably love this movie because of all the throwback themes of the brothers screwing up on the way to their missions and the willingness of bad guys to stay kneeling in one spot while they are prayed at before being executed.
For the more casual observer, this is one of the most ridiculous over-the-top B movies I’ve seen in a long time. So much that I had to look up and confirm that yes, this movie was also written and directed by Troy Duffy, the same man who did the first one. Only 8 years have passed in movie time, but 10 years have passed in real life. Connor and Murphy are still played by Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus, but they look much older now! The stuff they got away with looking like kids just doesn’t play as well now that they are in their 40s! There’s just no hiding how weathered they look. When you’re making big mistakes at their age, they just look incompetent and it isn’t as much fun when it feels so sad.
Unique and honest moments in the first film that became quotable and memorable as a result did not happen here. So much felt forced, profanity for profanity’s sake led to a trio of cops sounding more like the Three Stooges than law enforcement. They added a Mexican to their team complete with lots of stereotyping and his eyes bug out of his head so badly, I guess he must be the comic relief. But to what? The whole thing feels like a comedy, the drama almost never gets over.
Let’s start with the beginning. The brothers are shepherding on a sheep farm in Ireland with their father and have grown almost Moses-like hair in matching brown. Wow. After a copycat kills a priest in the same style the Saints did, they feel the need to go to America to confront them. This results in a lot of dead people.
Willem DaFoe’s successor is FBI Special Agent Eunice Bloom played by Julie Benz whom you might remember as Darla from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel TV Series. A lot has changed in her appearance but she shows up with a saucy Southern accent to prove how dumb (as if we needed the help, they can barely form sentences) the Three Stooges of law enforcement are by explaining the crime scenes as DaFoe once did. She lacks his charm and charisma and comes off as you-can’t-touch-me diva with an attitude so hard-as-nails that you never really warm to her character. Her accent does not make her seem more intelligent, just saucy. But I’m sure guys will warm to something else about her like the long legs and insane heels made for street walking.
The movie gets a little better when their father joins in played by Billy Connolly shows up to be dramatic with an old foe. The flashbacks of his youth don’t add very much to the story and when you find out the big reason behind all this blood and violence, you’ll probably feel pretty annoyed as I was.
The action feels similar, that whole disorganized randomness that results in precision headshots and criminals willing to hold still and wait for their death.
Overall, this movie feels very disappointing and takes away from the greatness of the original by association. I really need to go rent the first one again to remind myself what I liked because this felt so wrong.