The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day Review
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Filmmaking Tip of the Day: When your first film reaches cult status, it’s generally best to set it aside and move on to something else. Don’t try to get the gang back together and make something even bigger and cooler. Don’t try to cash in on your fans’ undying devotion by producing a pointless sequel—because, well, when you reach cult status, there’s really nowhere to go but down. If you need an example, try writer/director Troy Duffy’s The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day.

For the last eight years, Connor and Murphy MacManus (Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus) have enjoyed a quiet existence with their father (Billy Connolly) and a bunch of sheep in Ireland (where, from the looks of things, combs and razors have been outlawed). But when they receive word that a beloved priest has been murdered back in Boston—using their old modus operandi—they decide that it’s time to pack up their firearms and head back to the States. On the way, they meet Romeo (Clifton Collins, Jr.), a tough little Mexican stereotype who wants in on their shenanigans.

Convinced that paranoid crime boss Concezio Yakavetta (Judd Nelson) is responsible, the brothers decide to send a little message back—by killing a warehouse full of Yakavetta’s men. But the FBI’s Special Agent in charge, Eunice Bloom (Julie Benz), is convinced that the whole thing goes much higher than just a small-time crook.

Since it’s been 10 years since the release of the original Boondock Saints, you might think that Duffy would have had plenty of time to put together a solid script for the highly-anticipated sequel—but, alas, you would be wrong. The Boondock Saints II is filled with bad stereotypes, ridiculous characters, and gay jokes. It’s painfully self-conscious, trying way too hard to be hip—you know…like Tarantino. But, sadly, Duffy is no Tarantino. His pacing is uneven, and his attempts at humor are immature—yet, through it all, he still seems to be shamelessly impressed by his own mediocrity.

Sure, the film does have some big, gimmicky action sequences, but they’re surprisingly few and far between—and, well, they’re just not as exciting as they could have been. The rest of the film, then, is mostly a bunch of bickering between the brothers (which is actually quite entertaining at times) and a bunch of exaggerated paranoia from both the cops and the crooks (which, unfortunately, isn’t nearly as entertaining as it is grating).

The Boondock Saints II mixes big-budget action with low-budget acting. Instead of a cool, cult-worthy sequel, it’s corny and completely unnecessary. And while a bit of overacting and cheesy dialogue is perfectly acceptable (and even oddly endearing) in a smaller, first-time film, it’s inexcusable in a sequel—especially one that was a decade in the making.

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