[Join your host, John Holliday, in the review column "A Movie A Week" as he shares his spoiler-free thoughts on our collection of DVD / Blu-ray titles.]
Back when independent films were still (often) just movies that weren't viewed as mainstream or marketable by major studios, their filmmakers actually created some original ideas that are sorely missed today. But if you ever wondered why it's not possible to wear a peacoat without instantly looking like a pretentious Apple product fanatic, The Boondock Saints is why. The hipsters clung to the saints when they thought they were the only people who knew about it from the video rental store and the peacoat went with them. Good thing for us, that's where the similarities end.
The MacManus brothers are Irish twins living in Boston when they get a call to arms from God himself. It's really quite as simple as that but the full story all begins on St. Patrick's Day. Conner (Sean Patrick Flanery) and Murphy (Norman Reedus) are, of course, at their favorite pub when some Russian mobsters come in to permanently shut the place down. In traditional drunk Irish fashion, a bar fight rounds off the night with the MacManus' being the victors. The next day however, the mobsters surprise Conner and Murphy at their apartment with a revenge attack. Just as Murphy is to be executed, Conner saves the day and they end up killing the men in self defense.
FBI Special Agent Smecker (Willem Dafoe) understands the boys' situation and allows them to stay the night in a holding cell for their safety. It is there that they realize their purpose in life is to rid the world of evil men. With their friend Rocco, a former errand boy to the mob, they begin cleansing the city in their own vigilante manner. Eventually, they start to get in over their heads and seek the help of Smecker who now has to decide if what these so-called "saints" are doing is morally right.
I'm more a fan of Sean Patrick Flanery and his character Conner than the freshly popular Norman Reedus (thanks to 'The Walking Dead') and have been since I first saw the movie back around 2001. It was in the VHS days that these foul-mouthed religious gunslingers made their way into my movie library and they've grown on me since then. On first viewing, I loved the idea but there was too much confusion in the accents and timeline but multiple viewings later, it all makes perfect sense and flows smoothly. This is definitely the type of movie you either love or hate but you may find that you love it if you try it out a few times.
It's not "the best movie ever" as those previously mentioned hipsters like to claim but it is a great movie. Some may try to credit it only as another 90's Tarantino rip-off though that's what they say about any smart movie with gunplay, especially when it toys with the timeline. It's solid and well thought out despite the occassional nonnecessity like Smecker's femenine tendencies which make it feel slightly art house. But that's very brief and overshadowed by an excellent script with an excellent premise played out by an excellent cast. That's why I give The Boondock Saints:
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