November 5, 2009

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The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (R)
The vigilante, prayer-saying brothers are back in the slo-mo-tastic The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, a wilted, stinky salad of violence, eighth-grade-boy comedy and terrifically bad acting.

Somehow, back there in 1999 when most people were done knocking off the Pulp Fiction knock-offs and the first The Boondock Saints came out, I apparently didn’t manage to get to the theater during the six minutes it was on screen to see it. And subsequently, I’ve never been quite bereft enough of entertainment to bring myself to rent it. I intended to finally give it a look after seeing this movie but somewhere around minute five of All Saints Day I decided that the original would just be one stone that remained unturned for me. By minute six, I was starting to wonder if I really had to see the entirety of this movie — to wonder, in fact, if all this professional movie-watching was really for me.

Just to put this in perspective: I’ve seen Robin Hood: Men in Tights. I’ve sat through all six Saw movies. I saw Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo in its entirety. I even sat through August Rush twice thanks to a technical difficulty at a sneak preview. Twice. And even as the annoyingly whimsical Freddie Highmore interacted with the nerve-twisting Robin Williams I don’t think I wanted out of the theater quite so badly.

The McManus brothers (Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery) are relaxing in Ireland with their Lucky Charms accents and their stupid, stupid glued-on beards when the death of a priest in Boston brings them back. On the boat back to the U.S., they meet their official sidekick, Romeo (Clifton Collins Jr.), who will be providing you with your Mexican clichés for the evening. Once they return to Boston, they begin their killing-bad-guys spree. FBI Special Agent Eunice “Hee Haw Accent” Bloom (Julie Benz) arrives from Generic Southern State to help with the investigation of all the violence and to make the three Boston detectives (David Ferry, Brian Mahoney and Bob Marley) “whoopwhoopwhoop” and “why I oughta,” Three Stooges-style. Trying to out-shoot the brothers (or just hide from them) are a collection of Italian (or something) mobsters who flunked out of The Sopranos School of Fuggedaboutit. They are led by a character played by Judd Nelson, fresh from his immersion courses at the Al Pacino “Whoo-AAH!” Conservatory and with a few ice cream sprinkles glued to his mug to stand in for facial hair.

It’s unseemly to curl up in a ball on the floor of a theater and cry for your mommy. So I endured the artless slo-mo shots of shoot-outs and any number of “wacky” violent pratfalls while sitting upright and remaining relatively silent except for the occasional sigh of “Oh Death, where art thou?”. There is a way to be bloody and silly and brash and loud and campy and make your movie a crazy tilt-a-whirl of shoot-’em-up fun. The Boondocks Saints II: All Saints Day went the other way. F

Rated R for bloody violence, language and some nudity. Directed by Troy Duffy and written by Troy and Taylor Duffy, The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day is an hour and 27 minutes of your precious life gone forever and distributed in limited release by Apparition and Stage 6 Films.