The Boondock Saints

Year 2000

Willem Dafoe as  Paul Smecker
Sean Patrick Flanery  as Conner MacManus 
Norman Reedus  as Murphy MacManus
Billy Connolly as Il Duce
Bob Marley as Detective Greenly 
Director - Troy Duffy
Screenwriter - Troy Duffy  

If you've read about this movie at all, then you've read about some sort of issues between the ego of the director/screenwriter and the producers/executives. In fact, the off-screen drama appears to have been chronicled in a movie called Overnight.

If you've heard about The Boondock Saints, then you've probably heard that it's worth watching for the fun of it. Regardless of any issue associated with the battle of egos that went into making this movie, my recommendation is to watch it. If you like it, you'll watch it more than once.

The plot is a vigilante shoot-'em-up story. Two Boston brothers, fraternal twins Conner (Patrick Flanery) and Murphy (Norman Reedus) MacManus, find themselves taking on the Russian mafia one night to help a friend. A one time event turns into a career. Sharp tongued FBI agent Paul Smecker (Willem Dafoe) investigates the mayhem.

As to the director versus the executives back story, it definitely affects the movie. Scenes were cut from the final release and it lacks the polish of a well crafted movie. The movie starts out grounded in reality but escalates to the improbable by the finish. This would be alright if it was a smooth escalation. But, one minute there's a major gunfight in a suburban neighborhood and the next we are expected to feel sympathy in a domestic environment.

This jumping around flaws the movie.

This movie is basically a comedy with lots of swearing and shooting. The best part about this movie is that it pulls it off. Anyone who thinks that this is an easy feat should see Smokin' Aces. Or, if you're in a masochistic frame of mind Oceans Twelve (a.k.a. Our Audience Genuflects Before Us Because of Who We Are...Inside).

I'm not sure if "Saints" intends to be "edgy" (I doubt it). That doesn't mean that there are many limits as to what can be lampooned. For example, the FBI agent played by Dafoe is gay but not effeminate. In fact he really dislikes wimpy gays. I think he's "conflicted".

Willem Dafoe is one of those actors that I like because, among other things like he's a good actor, he's not afraid to take chances. In one scene he dresses as a hooker. I've got tell you, with his slight build (much smaller than say, oh, Renée Zellweger's), he makes it work.

There's a running gag regarding FBI agent Smecker and Boston police detective Greenly. Whenever Greenly says something dumb, he has to get coffee. Keep that in mind when reading the quotes.

About the quotes... For the first time, I've had to edit the ef word from this quotes page because I think that at least one-third of the lines in the movie contain some form of the "f" word and the lines are just too good to ignore.

Ivan Checkov: I am Ivan Checkov, and you will be closing now.
Murphy: Checkov? Well, this here's McCoy. We find a Spock, we got us an away team.

The Boston police, Greenly in particular, is coming up with theories about the first dual murder.
Smecker summarizing: Brilliant. So now we got a huge guy theory, and a serial crusher theory. Top notch.

We find out about Smecker's sexual preference when he is in bed with a man.
Smecker: What are you doing?
Hojo: I just wanted to cuddle.
Paul Smecker: Cuddle? What a fag.
Smecker enters a mass murder scene in a hotel room
Smecker: How many bodies, Greenly?
Greenly: Eight.
[Smecker, who doesn't know the answer himself, gives Greenly the "You're wrong" look anyway.]
Greenly: Ah, s**t! I forgot about that one! Nine! Nine?
Smecker: While Greenly's out gettin' coffee, anybody else want anything?

The brothers are selecting equipment for their next escapade. The Irish brogue used by these two adds to the scene.
Connor: Do ya know what we need, man? Some rope.
Murphy: Absolutely. What are ya, insane?
Connor: No, I ain't. Charlie Bronson's always got rope.
Murphy: What?
Connor: Yeah. He's got a lot of rope strapped around him in the movies, and they always end up using it.
Murphy: You've lost it, haven't ya?
Connor: No, I'm serious.
Murphy: Me, too. That's stupid. Name one thing you gonna need a rope for.
Connor: You don't [...] know what you're gonna need it for. They just always need it.
Murphy: What's this 'they' s**t? This isn't a movie.
Connor: Oh, right.
Connor, taking a large knife from Murphy: Is that right, Rambo?
Murphy: All right. Get your stupid [...] rope.

Even though this is definitely a guy film, the fact that it's mostly a comedy means that a girl won't be overly disgusted by it if she wants to watch it with you.

But, there is original and nearly constant use of the ef as a punctuation mark. There is a scene in an exotic dance club. There is some torture. There are many killings. (I saw a final tally of thirty-two. Ah, s**t! I forgot about that one. Thirty-three. Thirty-three? Want cream and sugar with that coffee?) And somehow a belief in God as a destroyer is germaine to the plot. (Billy Connolly is a scene stealer as "Il Duce".)

It's definitely worth a look, probably even more than one.

And don't forget the deleted scenes. The brothers' mom back in Ireland is a character.

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