It is that time again: Rewind Review Friday! In this week’s installment I will take a crack at the cult classic The Boondock Saints directed by Troy Duffy. This film is one of my favorite films of all time. It wasn’t some blockbuster hit back in 1999 when it was first released and was actually considered a ‘flop’. Many people who originally reviewed the film called it ‘cheap’ or ‘a low budget wannabe Tarantino film’. You would think after all of this the film would just vanish from civilization. Well, that was not the case. The film had a pretty decent success overseas in Japan and then had a huge following once it was released to home theater via VHS and DVD. It has grossed over $50 million dollars in DVD sales which is pretty good for a film no one apparently liked when it was released in movie theaters.
Queue up the beers and shots! Time for the Rewind Review: The Boondock Saints.
The movie kicks off with us meeting our main characters the MacManus brothers played by Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus. Yes, that Norman Reedus from The Walking Dead TV series. The film begins with the MacManus brothers attending church in their famous attire, paying attention to what the priest is saying. It comes to help them decide their fate later on in the film. The MacManus brothers are having many drinks in celebration for St. Patty’s day. When two mobsters come in to ruin the party, they take action and show these mobsters they walked into the wrong Irish Pub. After this, we meet one of the other main characters in The Boondock Saints: FBI agent Paul Smecker, played by Willem Dafoe. He brings to the screen a character we have not seen before, one who listens to music while inspecting a crime scene. The local Boston police feel they figured out this particular crime scene, which happens to be the two mobsters from the bar. But the Boston PD has it all wrong and Agent Smecker puts them in their place. He figures it all out while listening to his classical music. This is one bad ass detective that embarrasses the Boston PD with his findings.
So the MacManus brothers decide to turn themselves in. They come to the police station battered and bruised. They get to meet the intriguing Agent Smecker and talk about how it all went down. This is where Troy Duffy directs us back in time to see exactly what happened to the mobsters and the MacManus brothers. It is filled with some great scenes and one unbelievable jump to take out the last mobster. Agent Smecker then informs them they aren’t being charged with any crimes. They and Agent Smecker come to an understanding that they can spend the night in the police station. This is where their epiphany occurs. They are touched by prayer and maybe even God. They realize they might have stumbled upon something worth living for.
The next morning they both look at each other and know they have a duty to the city of Boston. Connor MacManus then checks out the pager he got from one of the mobsters. He decides to call back the number and the voice on the other end talks about a meeting between some high level mobster fellas. So the brothers decide what they heard that night in the police station was a call to arms. They will become vigilantes. Throughout some of the next scenes we get to see some great chemistry between the MacManus brothers. There is one great clip where they are buying guns and other equipment for their first vigilante run. I won’t ruin it here so if you haven’t seen it, I suggest you do so. It is one of my more favorite parts of the movie
Let’s fast forward to yet another crime scene with the Boston detectives and Agent Smecker. They think they have it all figured out again but they are wrong once more as Agent Smecker realizes what just occurred in this high rise crime scene. “This is something out of a movie,” he screams. He can’t believe what he saw. Here Duffy does his now famous flashback scene to show us what really occurred at this crime scene. This is another part of what makes this film a cult classic: the flashbacks and the interactions between all of our characters.
After all bloodbath is settled is where we meet another key figure in The Boondock Saints, Rocco played by David Della Rocco. He brings another element to this movie that just works. He is known as “the funny guy” in the film and his character just adds to the craziness that is already happening around them. Rocco is a henchman in the Yakavetta family, the mob family the MacManus brothers are slowly putting to rest. Rocco is the key to the MacManus’ success because he knows all the top players of the Yakevetta family.
The three of them continue to dole out their vigilante justice. This part of the movie has some great and interesting scenes were we learn a lot about each main characters. Plus we get to see a glimpse of the porn king Ron Jeremy in a small role as one of the Yakavetta’s right hand men. Unfortunately, he meets the same fate as the ones before him. Guess where that is at? You got it; at a peep show parlor. It is fitting that he should meet his end at this type of establishment.
While this is going on, Mr. Yakavetta is becoming angrier and angrier; his men are getting killed each day. He looks to use every resource he has. Well, this is where he finds the killer of killers, the Duke, a man first seen in jail and appears to be one bad mf’er. The type of guy you just don’t want to mess with. So Yakavetta has his ultimate hitman to take out the MacManus brothers. Again Mr. Duffy works his magic with the flashback scene when all these characters collide in one epic gun battle.
Throughout the process of the film Agent Smecker comes to believe what these brothers are doing is right. Like it is above the law and just seems to be fate. He then decides he can save them all and help them along the way. He does both of these things. But he isn’t the only one who saves them. When it appears their run is over as bad ass vigilante brothers, The Duke appears and he reveals to the audience his true identity. Now it is all over for the Yakavetta family in one dramatic scene. The movie ends with a news report style shot asking the public what they think of these “Saints”. It is a great way to end this classic film.
Not only did The Boondock Saints inspire a sequel to the film, which came out a whole ten years later in 2009, it also spawned a comic book with the same title. The comic book was written by the director of the films Troy Duffy and comic scribe J.B. Love. The graphic novels tell more in depth tales of The Boondock Saints and The Duke. You can find them online here. Click on the image below to read our review of this book.
Now grab a beer, some whiskey and watch The Boondock Saints! You won’t be disappointed.