Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Thriller and Crime/Gangster; Running Time: 1 hr. 48 min.; Release Date: January 21, 2000; MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, language, and sexual content.
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, David Della Rocco, Billy Connolly
Directed by: Troy Duffy
We decided to watch this movie this weekend after seeing the trailers for the sequel due out soon. I was speaking to the neighbor Saturday evening prior to the trick or treaters. He was planning to watch the movie also. He said it’s one of his favorites.
I have seen some truly woeful films featuring Willem Dafoe, and he’s not great in this movie either. He tried to subtly affect an effeminent gay man, but it just didn’t work.
That the rest of the film around him is good was a complete surprise to me. It has been compared to the work of Tarantino but really, aside from skirting a common genre and a bit of messing with the narrative structure it bares little similarity. Certainly it has a completely different look and feel. For a start Boondock Saints is consistently funnier (particularly Rocko, who is so pathetic you can’t help but feel for the guy despite his attitude and intentions). And secondly Saints is much more straight forward (unashamedly so) than either Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown or Reservoir Dogs.
The film is simple enough, but its style and characters add a layer of complexity that such a plot would not ordinarily deserve, yet here the film makers run with it enthusiastically. On the surface it is a low budget action/thriller I suppose, but the end result is infused with a clever script, incredible characters, some terrific set pieces and a really twisted sense of humour. I would imagine that it looks more expensive than it actually is.
Towards the end it really starts to look at vigilantism as a political issue, and I feel that the social commentary it offers after the finale might be a good thing to start a discussion on the subject. Yet this does not really detract from the entertainment value of this film.
It was pretty good, and I’ll give it a 8/10.