The Gratuitous B-Movie Column 12.14.09: Issue #84 The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #84: “The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day” (2009)
Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that wants you to know the following: Jim really does hate you, but Ted doesn’t have a problem with you, so it’s a good idea to just dump Jim and go with Ted (just don’t be surprised if Ted starts talking to you about his foreign mustard collection. That’s all the guy talks about), The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number eighty-four, I take a look at the belated sequel to the 1999 cult classic action flick “The Boondock Saints,” “The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day,” written and directed by Troy Duffy.
Now, before I get into actually reviewing “TBS2,” I have to make it clear that I’ve never seen the first movie. For whatever reason, “The Boondock Saints” has eluded me this past decade. I went into the sequel with fresh eyes and no preconceived notions about what the movie should do and what it shouldn’t do, etc. Now having seen the sequel, I’ll definitely make an effort to see the movie that made the sequel possible (that would be the first flick, just in case you didn’t follow me there).
So, why did I make an effort to see the sequel to a movie I never bothered to see in the first place? When a relatively low budget action flick B-movie of any kind gets a theatrical release and it’s playing near where I live I feel it’s my duty and obligation to make every effort possible to see it and support it in that setting. The more people show up, the more people show interest, the more likely future B-movies will get some kind of theatrical release. I think that’s a movie watching goal worth striving for.
So now, without any further hooha, here’s The Gratuitous B-Movie Column review of “The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day.”
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day
“The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day” stars Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus as the MacManus brothers, Connor and Murphy, the notorious vigilante duo known as “the Saints” who have been hiding out in Ireland the last ten years after what they apparently did at the end of the first movie (we see via flashback that they shot a man to death in a packed courtroom). They’ve been hanging out at the family sheep farm with their father Noah (the great Billy Connolly), riding horses, sheepherding, and smoking cigarettes. One day, they get word that a much beloved priest has been murdered back in Boston and that they’ve been fingered as the possible killers (the priest was shot in the back of the head twice, and pennies were found on his eyes, all Saints calling cards). As soon as they find out, both Connor and Murphy decide that they’ve got to go back to Boston and figure out who really killed the priest. So, they dig up their guns, shave their beards, take a shower, and hitch a ride on a massive cargo ship back to America.
While on the ship the brothers meet Romeo (Clifton Collins Jr), a fast talking street fighter that not only recognizes who the MacManus brothers are but wants to help out with whatever it is the Saints plan on doing. They reluctantly allow Romeo to tag along, figuring that he’ll be an asset because the guy sure can fight (he’s also got underworld connections via his father’s restaurant business. Those kinds of connections can only help the brothers find out who exactly killed the priest). Back in Boston, members of the local police department (Detectives Greenly, Duffy, and Dolly, as played by Bob Marley, Brian Mahoney, and David Ferry) are pissed off that the FBI wants to get involved in the priest murder case (basically, the detectives are worried that any investigation by outside agencies will eventually lead back to them and what they apparently did for the Saints in the first movie, and since this is an action movie any federal law enforcement presence is an awful, awful thing). The feds have sent the uber hot Special Agent Eunice Bloom (the great Julie Benz) to get to the bottom of things, to see if the Saints really are back in Boston killing people or if something else is afoot.
Obviously, something else is afoot. But what? Who the heck killed the priest? And why did the priest have to die? Who killed the priest is obvious, as we get to see the killer do the deed right at the beginning of the movie (the killer is the character Crew Cut, as played by Daniel DeSanto), but the why is where the movie’s overall fun resides. It’s ridiculous, sure, but it makes its own kind of sense and, most importantly, you don’t feel cheated by the surprise ending that isn’t much of a surprise ending (I figured out what was going on after about an hour, but I was still, for the lack of a better word, in awe of the story when the big reveal happens).
What’s great about this sequel is that it knows it’s just a movie, just a slick piece of entertainment, and it’s pretty dang okay with it. Even when it engages in a bit of “politically incorrect” social commentary (there’s a great dream sequence on a hockey rink where three characters explain what a “real” man is) it doesn’t come off as pretentious nonsense or off point. Every aside is an indulgence that the movie’s narrative can withstand. It also helps that everyone in the movie is well aware of what it is they’re doing and what kind of movie that they’re in but they don’t look down on what they’re doing. They all know that it’s total nonsense, but they also take it very seriously. Case in point, Julie Benz’s performance as FBI Special Agent Eunice Bloom. She’s a Special Agent in the FBI that shows up at a crime scene in high heel hooker shoes, a tight ass dress, and she wears her firearm in a holster just below her stomach like a belt buckle. She also speaks with a sexy “Southern” accent just dripping with sarcasm and she’s always using her sexuality in an overt fashion to get what she wants and distract the local male cops. Agent Bloom is clearly a persona that could only work/function/live in a B-movie.
And check out the violence, which is all about as stylized as you can get. The MacManus brothers dispatch bad guys brandishing two handguns, usually in slow motion or accompanied by some kind of rousing music. Sometimes we first see the aftermath of the violence, and then the movie essentially rewinds back to the point where the violence started. There are two final shootouts that are brilliantly put together (the second one especially).
Sean Patrick Flannery and Norman Reedus are great as the MacManus brothers Murphy and Connor. They clearly relish the chance to play these characters again and have as much fun as an actor can gunning down bad guys in outlandish fashion. I don’t know if I totally buy the Irish accents, though. They don’t sound “natural” if you know what I mean. They work for the purposes of the movie. Clifton Collins, Jr. gets to ham it up as Romeo. He takes the sarcastic sidekick idea and makes it his own (like when he kidnaps a guy and asks him for help with coming up with a catchphrase he can use after he shoots someone). Marley, Mahoney, and Ferry do a fine job as the Boston detectives Greenly, Duffy, and Dolly. They have a great, goofy chemistry together. Judd Nelson is hilarious as mob boss Concezio Yakavetta. He has trouble pronouncing words, he spends most of his time in a panic room, and he breaks a guy’s jaw with a big ass salami. It’s probably Nelson’s best work since, well, probably “New Jack City” or those “Cabin by the Lake” movies.
And then there’s Bob Rubin, who plays mobster Gorgeous George. He endures some of the nastiest stuff in the movie and also gets some of the biggest laughs. It’s almost like Rubin riffed on Robert Pastorelli’s Johnny Casteleone character from “Eraser” and just amped up the goofy stuff. You will remember what poor Gorgeous George has to do in order to stay alive. And Billy Connolly is the ultimate bad ass as Noah. He spends most of the movie in Ireland, having flashbacks from his teens/early twenties when he made leather goods for a living. He does, though, eventually don a wicked trench coat and kill a bunch of people, and, trust me, you really want to experience it. It really is that dang cool.
Now, there’s some stuff I don’t quite get. The Catholic stuff doesn’t make much sense to me. It’s cool and all, sure, but I don’t get why it’s there. I also don’t fully understand why the character Rocco (David Della Rocco) is such a big deal. When I finally see the first movie I’ll understand the significance of the Catholicism and the Rocco guy. There’s also a big moment at the end of the movie that, I’m going to assume, will mean more when I see the first movie. I’m not going to spoil it for everyone, but, and, again, I’m just assuming here, that it’s going to be pretty dang special to those of you who have seen the first movie. It also neatly sets up a third movie, which I’m definitely in the mood to see. In fact, I hope there are several more MacManus brothers adventures in the future. They’re a fun bunch of movie characters.
If “The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day” is playing at an actual theatre near you, go and see it. Don’t wait for the DVD. It’s worth the trip to see it on the big screen.
But, be sure, when the flick does hit DVD, buy it. The more money it makes, the better chance of there being a third MacManus brother adventure. You’re going to want another one. You will.
See “The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day.” See it, see it, see it.
So what do we have here? Gratuitous opening voice over about “doers and talkers,” gratuitous scruffy guys in Ireland smoking cigarettes next to a bunch of sheep or goats or whatever the heck they are, gratuitous Sean Patrick Flannery, gratuitous Norman Reedus, gratuitous Billy Connolly, gratuitous priest, a moth, gratuitous getting ready to kick ass montage featuring digging a hole in the ground, shaving, and taking a shower, gun cleaning, a big ass tattoo of Jesus, gratuitous hot ass female FBI agent in high heel shoes, gratuitous “breaking the fuck barrier,” gratuitous cargo ship street fight, gratuitous Judd Nelson, gratuitous talk about prison sex, big ass salami to the face, gratuitous tattooing, drawer checking, gratuitous racial epithet, gratuitous exploitation movie shootout homage, gratuitous Night Ranger, a box full of heroin, a crate fight, gratuitous guys eating on a pool table, attempted lobster dick, gratuitous New York City flashback, an emotional breakdown, fat guy massage, gratuitous big ass spatula to the ass, gratuitous fat ass white guy naked ass, gratuitous mention of the movie “Panic Room,” throat slitting, bullet to the head, bullet through the hand, gratuitous hot pink European cut underwear, gratuitous tanning, gum chewing, shitty underwear, tape bondage, gratuitous slow motion killing six guys, disturbing a crime scene. gratuitous hot chick walking towards the screen in slow motion, a guy says “irregardless,” gratuitous bullet removal, prayer bead hooey, gratuitous new handguns, gratuitous mention of “The Eiger Sanction,” more tape bondage, gratuitous forming a catch phrase, gratuitous building dive with rope, a massive slow motion shootout, point blank shot to the head, gratuitous dream sequence, a gun vest, tomato eating, gratuitous Peter Fonda, another shootout, and a surprise ending that helps set up a third adventure.
Best lines: “Peace, they say, is the enemy of memory,” “Something’s happened!,” “Exactly, what do you intend to do?,” “Now is not the time to panic green beans!,” “Let’s rock this bitch,” “This house is closed motherfucker!,” “Whore,” “David. You can call me David,” “There were pennies in his eyes? It was them,” “Are we not Catholics? For Christ fucking sakes!,” “Hey, you guys, is it true you say a prayer before you grease someone?,” “That shit was not funny!,” “I hope you guys like eating cock sandwiches, because we’re going to be eating them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner,” “I thought you said your car was inconspicuous? I don’t like words with ‘spic’ in them,” “Now that’s just unprofessional,” “Ballistics just dug it out,” “Holy shit,” “Is something amusing you queer bait?,” “Push the talk button numbnuts,” “Hey, let’s keep this professional, baby,” “By the by, you’ve got a pretty nice ass for a fat man,” “It doesn’t matter to me, I think I just shot my European cut Speedos,” “Erin go bragh? What the fuck is that? It’s Irish for you’re fucked!,” “Have you been crying again?,” “Let’s do some gratuitous violence,” “Who ordered the whoop ass fajitas?,” “Ding dong motherfucker! Ding dong!,” “Son, Daddy’s working,” “Real men hide their feelings! Why? Because it’s none of your fucking business!,” “Who the fuck is this?,” and “Fuck your fish! What the hell is going on?
You can check out the immortal Chad Webb’s review of “The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day” here. It’s a good one.
And now, some random B-movie news
– A new “Riddick” movie is coming? Various websites have recently reported (I saw it on chud.com and aint-it-cool-news.com) that David Twohy, writer-director of the 2000 sci-fi action horror flick “Pitch Black” and its 2004 sequel “The Chronicles of Riddick,” and star Vin Diesel are developing another Riddick adventure. Specific details of the script (or two scripts, if it’s to be believed that Twohy wants to make two “Riddick” movies back-to-back) have not been revealed, but it sounds like this could actually happen.
Now, the first Riddick flick, “Pitch Black,” has developed quite the cult following over the last nine years, but the sequel, “Chronicles of Riddick,” is generally viewed as a big disappointment, both artistically and financially. The sequel is much bigger in scope and budget than the first one, and is likewise far more complicated than the “people trying to get away from monsters at night” story featured in “Pitch Black.” While I certainly understand why people generally don’t like “Chronicles of Riddick,” I don’t think the movie is as bad as it’s been made out to be.
It’s a big, bloated dark sci-fi movie that’s deeply in love with its own darkness. I remember Twohy emphasizing over and over again in interviews that “Chronicles” was going to be dark, and it was that darkness that made “Pitch Black” such a crowd pleaser, especially with the Riddick character (for a while there he was the ultimate movie bad ass). But then the movie tanked when it came out, as the darkness apparently wasn’t what brought the crowds in the first time (and the presence of Diesel as the bad ass Riddick didn’t seem to matter, either). For whatever reason the movie just didn’t click with audiences. But it does have its moments. I can’t remember any of them at the moment, but I know the flick does have them as I remember liking the movie when it came out.
The possibility of another Riddick movie is exciting, but I do have a few reservations. I hope that Twohy doesn’t reflexively make a small movie because “that’s what worked the first time,” and I hope that he doesn’t try to make a bigger movie than he can afford to make, as that approach probably won’t work, either. And I also hope that the potential sequel doesn’t make Riddick into a total psychopath, as that would be lame as hell. And the movie shouldn’t try to ape, in any way, what’s already been done in the franchise. We don’t need to see Riddick fighting yet another group of nasty alien creatures. He’s done it.
So, then, what do we need to see Riddick do in a third movie? I don’t know. The only thing I do know is what probably shouldn’t happen. Beyond that, damned if I know what should happen. Let Twohy surprise us.
I do have one request, though. Twohy should keep Riddick’s bad ass head turns to a minimum. Twice should be enough. Anything beyond that is just ridiculous.
– Is Troma making a fifth “Toxic Avenger” movie? Apparently, the answer is “yes” Apparently, Lloyd Kaufman and the fine folks at Troma Entertainment are finally going to get to make a fifth “Toxic Avenger” movie, tentatively titled “Toxic Twins: The Toxic Avenger V” (I’ve also seen it listed as “The Toxic Avenger 5: The Toxic Twins”).
A fifth movie has been in the works for, what, about ten years now? The last one, “Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV” came out in 2001 and didn’t exactly set the movie world on fire (I’ve only seen the R rated version of the movie, and while I thought it had its moments I don’t think it was as good as the third movie, which is reviled by most people for some reason). But, with the recent success of “Poultrygiest: Night of the Chicken Dead” it looks like it’s time to do another Toxie movie.
Again, while I didn’t think the fourth movie was all that great, I’m still excited at the prospect of another “Toxic Avenger” movie. I still have my heavily edited Video Treasures VHS of the first movie, and I remember ordering the second movie via pay-per-view and having to explain to my brother what the hell was going on because he didn’t understand it, and I remember staying up late on a Friday night to watch the third flick on USA (I seem to remember it being advertised as a “World TV Premiere: but I could just be bullshitting myself on that one). The “Toxic Crusaders” was a pretty dang cool cartoon. I also still have a copy of the awesome horror magazine “Toxic Horror” with Toxie on the cover. In short, I’m a total Toxic Avenger nerd.
I just hope that the fifth Toxic Avenger movie, which will apparently feature the Toxic Avenger’s children, will be less episodic and more “story oriented.” I think that’s what hurt the fourth movie, that lack of a real story. Will I complain, though, if the fifth flick is full of goofy, disgusting nonsense? No, of course not. That’s part of the fun.
The fifth Toxie adventure is expected to come out in 2011. It’ll be worth the wait, sure, but that’s way too long a wait for me.
What the heck happened to that war movie Toxic Avenger movie that Troma wanted to make, “Saving Private Toxie”? Don’t you want to see the Toxic Avenger in a war zone somewhere? I know I do. Maybe that’ll be part 6.
And now, a little bit about “Live Evil”
“Live Evil,” the great new Tim Thomerson vampire flick (also featuring an appearance by horror legend Ken Foree) is now on Video on Demand. Check out my review for the flick here, and then, if it’s on your cable system, order it. It’s a great flick, and you will not be disappointed. .
The flick now also has a firm DVD release date. According to its MySpace page, “Live Evil” will hit DVD February 23rd, 2010. That’s only a few short months away, so remember that date, and be sure to keep an eye on the MySpace page and the flick’s new Facebook page for further updates/developments.
Well, I think that’ll be about it for this issue. B-movies rule, always remember that. And if there’s anything you want to see reviewed here in this column, feel free to offer a comment below or send me an e-mail. I’m always on the lookout for new stuff to watch.
And don’t forget to bookmark 411 via the little line below. You’ll be glad you did.
“The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day”
Sean Patrick Flannery– Connor MacManus
Norman Reedus– Murphy MacManus
Billy Connolly– Noah
Clifton Collins Jr.– Romeo
Julie Benz– Eunice Bloom
Judd Nelson– Conceizo Yakavetta
Bob Marley– Detective Greenly
Brian Mahoney– Detective Duffy
David Ferry– Detective Dolly
Bob Rubin– Gorgeous George
Daniel DeSanto– Crew Cut
David Della Rocco– Rocco
Directed by Troy Duffy
Screenplay by Troy Duffy, based on a story by Taylor Duffy and Troy Duffy
Distributed by Apparition and Stage 6 Films
Rated R for bloody violence, language and some nudity
Runtime– 118 minutes