Thursday, November 5, 2009
FattMatt: "The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day" Review
There are some movies who's integrity depends on the outcome of the sequel(s). For example, The Matrix trilogy and their excellent part 1, followed by an OK part 2 (Reloaded), then a sub-par part 3 (Revolutions). It brought the entire trilogy down.
There are some films who's sequel(s) don't affect them at all. The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, for example, are unscathed by the sub-par Part III.
Then there are films that just don't require a sequel at all, but some people feel the necessity to make one anyway, and not for monetary purposes. When that rare case arises, making a movie as fan candy, then there is just one thing to make sure you don't mess up: Make it exactly like the first.
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day is one of those rare cases. The film had absolutely no need to be made... at least not in 2009, anyways.
You see, the first Boondock Saints was a little independent film that came out 10 years ago, and pretty much went straight-to-DVD because of the Columbine tragedy. And for the last 10 years, it's been rapidly gaining fans around the world and has become a cult classic. It's one of those films that you've never heard of, but when someone who has speaks to you about it, they speak as if it's the greatest film of all time. I, personally, have never met anyone that dislikes the first film. As a matter of fact, if I had to pick just one favorite movie, it would be The Boondock Saints. I was introduced to it by a friend who spoke of it like it was the greatest film ever made, (Mark, wherever you are), and I, in turn, try to preach it to everyone like the Good Book.
Now if writer/director Troy Duffy had made a sequel back in 2001-ish, then fine, (which he unfortunately couldn't because of many legal problems). That probably would've worked out ok.
The problem with making a sequel to a film 10 years after the first came out and reached cult status is that the fans are expecting a lot. A LOT.
Knowing this, Duffy concentrated too much on making a movie for the fans of the first one, and not enough time developing plot or story. He spent too much time adding inside jokes wherever he could, and not enough time developing characters. He spent too much time trying to make it look badass with new slo-mo effects, and not enough time polishing the film clean overall.
What we get is a sequel with no heart, poor story, annoying characters... and no heart.
What made the first film so great was how the comedy came naturally. It was a subtlety that was noticed better during the second or third viewing. It wasn't in-your-face.
What made the first film so great was how you knew each and every character as if they were your friends, and understood why they acted out the way they did.
What made the first film so great was how it was so low budget that it had a natural gritty quality to it that added character. No artificial qualities had to be added to it.
What made the first film so great was how it didn't try to be the next coolest thing. It just was.
Although I will say that Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus did a fine job the second time around as the 'Saint' brothers Connor and Murphy.
Clifton Collins, Jr. was a wonderful addition to the cast as 'Romeo', even though he was just a 'Rocco' replacement.
Willem Dafoe was definitely missed as FBI Agent Smecker.
I'm glad that the 3 amigos, detectives Dolly, Duffy and Greenly (David Ferry, Brian Mahoney and Bob Marley), received a larger role this time around.
And it was a delight seeing Doc, 'F**k Ass' (Gerard Parkes) one more time, not to mention seeing Rocco (David Della Rocco) in a dream sequence that was arguably the funnest part of the film.
What I couldn't stand was Julie Benz's character, Special Agent Eunice Bloom. Not that she isn't very attractive or a bad actress or anything. It's just that she had this totally annoying and completely unnecessary southern accent which took me out of the film every time she spoke.
Billy Connolly as 'Il Duce' was a waste of award-winning talent this time around, I hate to say, and Peter Fonda is Peter Fonda ('The Roman'), so if you're going to put him in your movie, please give him a little more to do then just sit there.
To wrap up, watch this movie if you're a Boondock Saints fan just so you can say you watched it. Who knows, you might enjoy it.
If you're not a fan of the original, stay away because it just won't make any sense to you, but be sure to watch the original instead.
Overall, I was pretty disappointed.
What are your thoughts?