Roadshow Entertainment/Roadshow Entertainment .
R4 . COLOR . 104 mins .
R . PAL
The Boondock Saints is one of those films where the line between the good guys and the bad guys is about as fuzzy as it can be. It is obvious who the criminals are, just as it is obvious who the good guys are, but neither come across the way they usually do in those Hollywood style shoot-‘em-ups where there is much blood spilled, often for the sake of violence alone.
"I see his problem. He's dead!"
Fraternal twins, Connor (Sean Patrick Flanery) Murphy MacManus (Norman Reedus), are multi-lingual Irishmen in Boston. They are obviously intelligent and able to look after themselves in a scrap. It is after a bar brawl that things turn nasty. The twins manage to upset the local Russian crime bosses who try to take the brothers down – and fail. It dawns upon the brothers that once in trouble they may as well do it properly. They are good at ridding the world of nasty people, like Russian and Italian mobsters for example and their Rambo meets James Bond methods of operation are often amusing, always violent and dramatic, and for the most part, quick and effective. They recruit local identity, “Funny-man” (David Rocco), along the way after he is shafted by a local mob family and they set about ridding Boston of its most unsavoury residents.
Naturally, both the local law enforcement and FBI are more than interested and on the case. Headed by opera-loving, gregarious and camp Agent Smecker (Willem Dafoe), they set about tracking the two brothers and their off-sider in the hope of catching them – or are they? The local boys in blue at the very least, and later Smecker himself, begin to understand what the brothers are trying to do and are torn between upholding the law (as they are compelled to) and applauding the twins for doing what they can’t – eliminating the mobs.
He really needs to get that shirt into soak.
When the local mobs decide to play for keeps and call in renowned assassin, Il Duce (Billy Connolly), the three ‘Saints’ seem set for a final shoot out that will see them hailed as heroes, or brought down in a screaming mess of blood, bone and squidgy bits.
This ‘Tarentino-coulda-been’ film is pretty damned enjoyable and while rated R, it must have only just scraped into that category. The cast is superb, led by Willem Dafoe in another of those bad-good guy roles he does so well. You just know when he is on screen that something is going to happen. For a bit of a laugh, some great gun-toting action and more blood than you normally see (except for maybe Kill Bill, this film is it.
The aspect ratio of 2.35:1 but is not 16:9 enhanced (despite the cover’s boast that it is) and generally looks good. Colouring is solid and not affected by such things as bleeding or noise, grain is very moderate, dirt and other artefacts are not intrusive, and black levels and shadow detail also good. There is no layer change.
The only English audio option is a Dolby Digital 5.1 that is pretty fine indeed. The score makes good use of the rear channels but the film itself is confined mostly to the front channels. The numerous shoot outs and other thumping action scenes do make use of the rears, but dialogue and such is heavily placed in the centre channel.
There are no issues with volume. clarity or synchronisation, and not even the accents cause any trouble, but there are English subtitles should the need arise.
The extra features are limited to the two-minute, full frame Theatrical Trailer.
Enjoyable performances from a likeable cast make this action-packed shoot-‘em-up blood-fest easy to recommend. It is no Godfather or Goodfellas but is still an enjoyable film nonetheless.