The Boondock Saints (Blu-ray)
Time to admit something rather shameful– I had only seen bits and pieces of THE BOONDOCK SAINTS. So there was a specific reason of why I chose this one. My close circle of friends consider it to be a film that is untouchable. I’m constantly reminded of this when I go to their houses and see their framed BOONDOCK posters on their walls. Obviously I had to know what the hype was all about. Was it as amazing as they seemed to think it was?
THE BOONDOCK SAINTS tells the tale of the Irish brothers MacManus (Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus) who are loyal to their faith and the city they live in– Boston. The premise here is fairly simple: While trying to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a beloved local pub, the MacManus brothers are rudely interrupted by the Russian mob who claim they are closing the pub and leveling the building for their own use. After a massively brutal fight, the mob guys are all brought to their end by the brothers who tell their story to special FBI agent, Paul Smecker (Willem Dafoe) and come off like heroes. The town is congratulatory to these saintly brothers who find a new mission through bottom of the barrel mob crony, Rocco (David Della Rocco).
The new path for the brothers and Rocco are to clear the city of all bad and evil-doing men. They go on their own vigilante rampage throughout the city. Their rampage is a bloody, violent one and starts a whole new case for Agent Smecker. The biggest prize is the top of the Russian mob ladder, Giuseppe “Papa Joe” Yakavetta (Carlo Rota). The boys decide to pick off the whole family until they reach Yakavetta. When the brothers and Rocco make themselves known, a notorious hitman, Il Duce (Billy Connolly) is sent by the mob boss.
Without divulging everything for those like me who hadn’t seen the film in its entirety, I will say that the end was a bit of a surprise. Actually, there were quite a few surprises waiting for me. The entire cast is great in their respective roles. Dafoe hinges on being a caricature due to the weirdness of his character. If Agent Smecker was not Agent Smecker, then Dafoe might be seen in my eyes as nothing short of laughable. Thing is, the whole movie is supposed to be over the top. At first I thought they went a little too heavy on the expletives, violence, and suggestive conversation, then I realized that this is almost a play on a Tarantino-type film. When director/writer Troy Duffy set out to make this, I really don’t think he was at all trying to mirror what Tarantino was doing. This playground is big enough for all the satirically violent minds housing themselves in Hollywood.
Now this hinges on whether or not I think that BOONDOCK SAINTS lives up to its cult status. Well, in my eyes it does. It delivers a fun, violent experience that is unique in its own right. While I may not hold it in the regard that my friends do, I can certainly understand their devotion to the MacManus brothers. I however have a soft spot for Agent Smecker and his pretty pink necktie.
Video: The quality here is average. Too bright in some scenes, too dark in others. I would think that for the 10th anniversary edition they might do a bit better than this. (2.35:1 Widescreen).
Audio: Another case of the slightly averages. The action scenes sound quite nice at times. Though there is some crackle in spots. (5.1 DTS-HD).
Audio Commentary by Writer/Director Troy Duffy: As writer and director, Troy Duffy knows his creation through and through. Duffy gives as many details as humanly possible all while delivering them the Troy Duffy way—he’s just really proud.
Audio Commentary by actor Billy Connolly: I favored this commentary over Duffy’s due to the sheer hilarity of it all. Connolly plays the role of master hitman, Il Duce in the film. You’ll love it.
The Boondock Saints: The Film and the Phenomenon (30:00): In this featurette made specifically for the 10th anniversary, the main crew gets together for a look back at the film and its cult status. Here you can watch Duffy, Sean Patrick Flannery, Norman Reedus and David Della Rocco give their own perspective on the film’s phenomena. It’s very entertaining to watch and they again are all very proud of the work they did and how far it has come.
Outtakes (1:32): This might as well have been called a blooper reel. It goes by too quick.
Deleted Scenes (19:00): Possibly the longest reel of deleted scenes for a film. For some of them it was obvious why they were not included. Then there are some really interesting scenes that I wish would have been included in the director’s cut.