Thursday, March 18, 2010

Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, The - 2/5

Oh Troy Duffy. How you have had a tragic heroes existence. With the rise of popularity with his underground instant cult classic like "The Boondock Saints" and his fall from grace quickly thereafter, its amazing to see this film see the light of day at all. After seeing this film, its a wonder that perhaps it should have stayed in the dark a little longer.

"The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day" takes place 8 years after the first with the MacManus boys living in hiding in Ireland with their Da. But the death of a local loved clergyman in Boston done in the style of their notorious vigilante justice spree 8 years prior is a call of warning to bring them out for a show down with their past and eventually bringing a new future for them.

The main problem with "Boondock 2" is that is tries desperately hard to recapture the great elements of the first. So hard in fact, that the film comes off more as a rip off of the first rather than a true sequel or follow-up. The main story/concept is actually quite good so that by the time we get to the third act it actually feels like its own film instead of a knock off. But the first 2/3 of it are quite painful to get through.

Most of the reason this film comes off as a poor intimidation is Troy Duffy's writing. The overall story works, but some of its plot elements are borderline ridiculous. The addition of their new 'sidekick' comes off as comedic role rather than a solid new addition. The new FBI woman, Smecker's protege, is corny and poorly developed for most of the film (the ending saves her). Even the entire idea of them in hiding seems half cocked. With the ending of the first film and their declaration of justice for all evil doers, why would you go into hiding immediately? It makes the end of the first film absolutely pointless and creates a massive plot hole. It just doesn't make sense! And then Duffy adds in a ton of 'dream' sequences where the characters interact with dead characters and desperately tries to give the film moments of 'style' that seemed forced rather than necessary. Duffy has good moments here with the film, but more often than not it just seems to try too hard to be lovable.

Then of course, there is the dialogue. It tries so hard to be quotable and memorable that most of it doesn't make sense to plot, characters, or the previous lines. It has its moments where it works but for most of the film it comes off as immature and childish in its desperate grasp for attention. It was frustrating for me to watch and listen to most of the time and made me yell, 'what the fuck are they talking about' more than it should have.

As for our characters, the acting is fine and the characters (despite the new ones being far too underdeveloped) make it work most of the time. Its just unfortunate that Duffy's writing needs massive work.

"Boondock 2" was a sequel that could have been amazing with its concept, but failed so miserably in the writing that not a whole lot could save it. It reeks of bad movie cliche's from beginning to end. It was made to please the fans, but if you are a fan with any sense of solid film making or a want to see them actually IMPROVE on the story and characters than maybe you want to not watch this. It has its moments (the last moments of the film in particular which set up a third film) but overall it was a beast between them and frustrating to say the least.

I hope they do make a third film. Just so that Duffy can at least try to make himself a better writer. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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