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The Boondock Saints (1999)

by on 2013/03/24

boondock_saints_1999“Why don’t you make like a tree and get the fuck out of here?”

* * * *

When, oh, when will I simply listen to Mr. Renders? He’s the unerring sommelier of moving pictures and games. If this man recommends something, don’t argue, just bloody well listen.


Now if only I could take my own advice. I dish it out in plentiful gobs of plenty, but I don’t often take it. Apparently.

When Hacker Renders recommended The Boondock Saints to me, I was too busy staring vacantly out a window thinking about money to listen. I like money quite a lot so staring vacantly while thinking about money is a bit of a hobby of mine.

It’s no excuse, really.

It took another recommendation from an outstanding person at my office – whose roller derby name is an homage to this ridiculously amazing film – to push me over the edge.

But, before I finally listened, I lost days, people. Days, where I hadn’t seen The Boondock Saints.

Ecstatically violent, morally satisfying, wisely funny. This movie was like a brilliant mash-up of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s seedy bar scene with its ethically vacant denizens; the “today I settled all family business” great vengeance and furious anger of the Godfather II; and the assassin’s procedural of a Leon or The Mechanic.

I noticed Hacker did a similar but more complex six-way comparison in his review, saying it was like “The Brothers McMullen Kick Ass . . . Daredevil vs Hannibal Lecter . . . Dexter the Silent Partner…”

I think I understand the impulse to explain through comparisons now. I think it stems from a desperation to get other folks to understand the greatness of this sort of indefinable movie. Then convince them to see it …see it now.

The gritty, righteous McManus brothers are played by Sean Patrick Flanery (Kaw) and Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead). Both Flanery and Reedus did it just right. No words when a jaw clench or an eye squint would do. They are dead-serious, good-guy killers who are, at times, slapstick, laugh-out-loud funny in their pursuit of evil doers.

Filmed in Toronto, it had a low-budget feel which made it somehow all the more authentic. The stunts looked real. The hits felt solid. The fights were cleverly choreographed with materials at hand. Just how many times have you seen a hero defend himself with a toilet.

A whole toilet?!

You see what this film has done to me? I used an exclamation point!

Great, surprising, hilarious performances from scary-beyond-all-reason Willem Dafoe (The Fantastic Mr. Fox), David Della Rocco (The Black Dove), and Billy Connolly (Fido) and Carlo Rota (Little Mosque on the Prairie).

Ah, let me not waste any more time. This movie’s freaking glorious. Just see it.


* * * *

108 minutes

Rated R for strong violence, language, sexual content and makes you feel an overwhelming urge to get tattoos on your hands


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