Sometimes I like to write well-researched, thoughtful articles about pieces of art. Sometimes. Sometimes I like to write about shit like Boondock Saints.
Boondock Saints is a 1999 movie by Troy Duffy, starring Norman Reedus, Sean Patrick Flannery, and Willem Dafoe. As I did with Sailor Moon, I am getting into this movie way too late for this article to possibly be relevant to more than like two people. But y’know what? I haven’t written anything for this site in a bit. It wasn’t my plan to watch this movie. I just did it on a whim. And I’m writing this article on a whim. Yeah, I’m not taking the time to research anything about this movie, or plan out this article. I just need to talk about it.
I didn’t know anything about this movie before going into it, other than what I wrote above. I didn’t even know what genre it was. I thought I did. If you Google “The Boondock Saints genre” you get these results.
That’s about what I expected, sans the LGBT thing. A thriller about a couple of guys with guns killing bad dudes. Nobody told me what this movie actually was. And what this movie is, is a fucking comedy. Do not TELL me that anyone who has ever watched this movie has ever shed a tear except from laughter, or felt any genuine emotion other than joy. Don’t even TRY. This is a C O M E D Y. I don’t know who’s in charge of labelling the genre of movies, but there are ten genres listed here, none of them are comedy, and that’s a disgrace. Don’t lie to the people, Google.
Okay, okay, so what is Boondock Saints about? The Boondock Saints is about two brothers, Connor and Murphy, the titular saints, who, after murdering a dude with a toilet, get the idea that God has tasked them with killing criminals, Punisher style. They, and one of their friends, proceed to kill a bunch of people for the next hour and a half, while an unhinged FBI agent, Paul Smecker, tries to take them down. That’s it. There’s nothing else in this movie. No romantic subplot, no emotional throughline, no deeper meaning. Nothing. This movie is about murder and dumb cops and that’s it.
Speaking of murder, be forewarned, that this movie is rated R. It is aggressively rated R. This movie is lodged firmly between Q and S. The word fuck is said 239 times. The other F-Word that I will not say is also said a few times. There’s a lot of blood. An exposed boob. Generally not a movie you want to watch with your grandma, or your grandchildren. Don’t be fooled though, even though children can’t watch this movie, this movie is made for teenagers. If you’re generally concerned with matters of artistic intent or integrity, you may, yourself, become a victim of The Boondock Saints.
Again though, I didn’t know this going into it, so when Sean Patrick Flannery throws a toilet on a dude from the roof of a five story building, then jumps down from the roof, and breaks his fall by landing on another dude I very nearly had an out of body experience.
This movie is insanity. This isn’t even the stupidest thing in the movie though. It continually one-ups itself throughout it’s runtime. That being said, the toilet scene is when you, as an audience member, have to make a choice. Can you handle this? Are you ready for The Boondock Saints?
I wasn’t, but I continued on anyway. So, be honest with me. Who do you think the protagonist of the Boondock Saints is? Do you perhaps think it’s the Boondock Saints? You’re wrong. You’re fucking wrong. The protagonist of a story needs to go on a journey and realize something about themselves or the world throughout the course of said journey. This generally means they need to change. The Boondock Saints don’t change for shit. They are who they are. And who they are is the Boondock Saints. They’re more like a force of nature.
To be quite honest with you, I don’t even think they’re human. Take their accents for example. Is Norman Reedus doing a really bad Irish accent, or is he actually imitating the accent of an ancient, Eldritch horror, who’s merely inhabiting the body of Daryl Dixon? This is, of course, open to interpretation, but I interpret him as being an Eldritch horror and my interpretation is correct. If you want evidence, look at the very beginning of the movie. The brothers work at a meat packing plant at the beginning of the movie. For absolutely no reason at all they begin attacking each other with raw meat. Are these the actions of human beings with human brains? I don’t think so.
So who is the protagonist of this movie? It’s Paul Smecker. Paul Smecker goes on a journey in this movie. He changes. He starts the movie going after the saints and ends the movie realizing that they’re necessary. Is it a good arc? No. But it’s an arc. Helps that he’s also, by far, the most entertaining character in this movie.
Okay. If you’ve never seen this movie before, I’m about to show you something, and I don’t really know how you’re gonna handle it. I want you to know that it’s just a movie (I think) and that I’ll be with you the entire time. Okay? I’m gonna walk you through it, don’t worry.
Watch this scene.
You done? Alright, so what you just saw was Paul Smecker at a crime scene, attempting to piece together what happened. He theorizes that The Boondock Saints were ambushed by three people with guns, causing all hell to break loose. All the while a choir is chanting in the background and he’s conducting an orchestra only he can hear. If you’re wondering why he’s doing that, I can’t tell you, I’m sorry. What actually happened was far stupider. One man, with six guns, who looks like George RR Martin, got into a shootout with them. All four people in the encounter fired at each other. Nobody died.
After this scene, the Boondock Saints and their friend go back to their apartment and cauterize each other’s wounds with clothing irons. Do I even need to keep explaining this movie to you? Why are you still reading this article? By this point you’ve already decided whether you’re going to watch Boondock Saints or not. Listen. Is The Boondock Saints a good movie?
Does the Pope shit in his hat?
I don’t know. I don’t know the Pope personally, so I couldn’t say. I also don’t know whether The Boondock Saints is a good movie. But is it an entertaining movie? Yes. Yes it is.
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