Boondock Saints is nothing more than a lame version of Daredevil, Wolverine or The Punisher, shot in a hip Quentin Tarantino style, but without the edgy character substance that make his films great.
Boondock Saints: Unrated Edition
Directors: Troy Duffy
Producers: Chris Brinker...producer
Writers: Troy Duffy
Features: * Unrated Version * Commentaries * Deleted Scenes * Outtakes * Trailers
Willem Dafoe...Paul Smecker
Sean Patrick Flanery...Connor MacManus
Norman Reedus...Murphy MacManus
David Della Rocco...David Della 'Roc/Funny Man' Rocco
Billy Connolly...Il Duce
Boondock Saints: Unrated
Iím not really sure how this mess of a movie became a cult classic. Itís an extremely worn story about two brothers who decide to rid the world of itís filth by murdering mob bosses and the like. If youíre a comic book fan, this basic premise will sound a bit familiar. Boondock Saints is nothing more than a lame variation of the Daredevil, Wolverine or The Punisher comic series, shot in a hip Quentin Tarantino style, but without the edgy character substance that make his films great.
When Boondock was released, we, as a movie going audience, were in a Tarantino drought. He hadnít made a movie in a few years and everyone was getting restless. Then came Boondock, posing as a bastard child of the auteur. The film has flash, hip music and some style, but the characters are unlikable, rude and underdeveloped. We donít know that much about them and weíre never given enough to care about them. Only near the end, when a middle aged hitman targets the duo, do we even see a shed of interesting drama among the lot. And thus, the film is flat, confusing and boring.
The film likes to shoot back and forth ala Tarantino, but again, it often wants to reveal something by flashing back, but other times itís done with no real rhyme or reason, leaving the viewer confused as to what just happened. They end up asking: Did I miss something?
No you didnít. The style of the film just doesnít make any sense.
The odd part about Boondock is its message, which is somewhat intentionally mixed. The film poses the question: How far is too far in the name of justice? The answer will inevitably divide viewers as it should, however, for most of the movie; we are lead along a path that suggests that our heroes are right, not wrong. Only during the final moments, do feel that maybe these guys are wrong, and even then itís up in the air. What works about the stories in The Punisher is that weíre always along for the ride, weíre having fun, but what we see Frank Castle do, is often so horrible that we pity those heís punishing. Thatís how this message should be conveyed. Unfortunately, the script is too lazy, or not brave enough, to go all the way. It tries to have fun, but itís always forced.
The film isnít without its moments though. The film is unapologetically violent and the story, while trite and clichť, has itís moments of clever quirkiness, particularly the FBI agent Paul Smecker (Willem Dafoe). His character defies logic, to say the least. Heís interesting, but again the script becomes fearful of its own creation. Why donít we ever get to know who this guy really is? Heís weird, but he could be so much weirder if we peeled back a few layers.
Boondock Saints is yet another cult film that just isnít deserving of the title. Itís quirky and weird, but it plays against old ideas and boring concepts that are already cult in their own right. Itís a film that never delves deep enough into itself and in the end, it leaves hardcore cult fans wanting so much more, but not in the way it should. In other words, itís a movie imitating a cult film, with strong aspirations of being one, but itís just not bold enough earn the right.
As entertainment: * * Ĺ
As a film: * *
Presented in Anamorphic Widscreen 2:35:1, this double dip appears to be nothing more than the old transfer moved over to a new disc. Digital grain and halos are present during numerous daylight sequences. Colors also look a bit grey, but that could be the directorís intention. Either way, itís not appealing, and if the director intended to make a Tarantino-esque movie, he should have noted how Tarantino uses color in his films.
There is a Full Frame version of the film on the other side of the disc.
Presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, this mix has its ups and downs. The center channel is mastered fairly well, but again, itís a bit low. The surrounds get used occasionally, but your system will hardly get a workout from this actioner.
Also included are English subtitles and captions and Spanish subtitles.
Most of the extras here were included in the original version. The set bills itself as two-disc, but could have easily been a single disc release. For a limited time, though, the new version of the film comes in a nifty tin case.
First up, the film is presented as an ĎUnratedí edition. There is just a bit more gore in a few scenes. Nothing beyond that. Iíd say this cut runs just a few seconds longer.
The only other new special feature is an additional Commentary from actor/comedian Billy Connolly. This commentary is very funny and well worth a listen for fans and non-fans alike.
The remaining features were on the original disc. Thereís a very boring Commentary from writer/director Troy Duffy. He certainly likes his own film, but he pats himself on the back far too many times for my liking.
Finally, there are a few Deleted Scenes worth watching and a very funny Outtakes reel.
Trailers, filmographies and such, are also included.
Each side of the disc contains the always annoying and thankfully skippable Ďanti-piracyí spot at the beginning of the disc. This time they're asking you not to buy pirated movies. Come on Fox, we are the ones BUYING or renting the real discs! We arenít stealing them. Weíre the GOOD GUYS! We arenít downloading movies and weíre not buying bootleg movies, so stop telling us not to with your "cool, hip promo". It's bound to irritate consumers and make pirates laugh rather than feel guilty. I canít stress this enough!
Boondock Saints has its fan base. I canít ignore that. So, if you hate the original DVD, then upgrade. Itís worth it for the new commentary and the cool tin. Newcomers may just want to rent this one as it may or may not be exactly what youíre looking for. Fans of this film should defiantly check out The Punisher graphic novel by Garth Ennis: Welcome Back, Frank. Itís everything this film should have been, and isnít.
Overall Value: 7.5
* Running Time: 110 minutes
* List Price: $26.98
* Available on DVD May 23rd 2006.
Email Me with Comments, Concerns, Questions and Complaints regarding this review, but please, be nice.
----R. L. Shaffer