“If I be worthy, I live for my God to teach the heathen, even though they may despise me.”-St. Patrick
From the beginning of time, good men have been fighting the injustices and brute nature of evil men. With so many of us actually trying to be good and honest people, unfortunately we are constantly surrounded by evil in our everyday lives. The snake is the symbol of the Devil, the absolute evil that lurks around every corner to tempt and corrupt our already fragile souls. Some men are weak and cannot defend themselves from evil tyrants. Saint Patrick, once a horrid sinner, found God and fought evil in His name by chasing all of the snakes out of Ireland. Even today, as we fall prey to the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men, we need more heroes like those portrayed in The Boondock Saints (1999).
Two Irish Catholic fraternal twins from Boston, Conner (Sean Patrick Flannery of Powder, ) and Murphy (Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead ) MacManus, find themselves in quite a pickle when they kill some members of the Checkov Russian mafia family in self-defense, who were threatening to close down their favorite neighborhood bar McGinty’s owned by the loveable Tourette’s stricken Doc, Gerard Parks of Fraggle Rock (1983). Lauded locally for their actions against the criminal element they are coined “saints.”
The McManus brothers are touched by the grace of God and set on a crusade of vigilantism in the name of the Lord, executing more Russian mob members in hopes of ridding their beloved city of crime and evil. Along the way, they are joined with their friend and low man of the Italian mob, Rocco “The Funny Man,” David Della Rocco of The Black Dove (2012), who discovers that his own crime boss, Yakavetta, intended him to be killed by the Russians. All the while eccentric and unorthodox FBI investigator Paul Smecker, William Dafoe of Platoon (1986), investigates the rise in violent killings associated with the two “angels” and the contract killer, Il Duce, Billy Connolly of Fido (2006), hot on their trail set to eliminate them once and for all.
The Boondock Saints was the first feature written and directed by one time bartender and loudmouth Troy Duffy. Inspiration for the film came from the experience Duffy had living in a seedy Los Angeles apartment; when witnessing a drug dealer stealing from a fresh corpse across the hall. After the script floated around studios in preproduction hell (mainly due to Duffy’s tyrannical personality), The Boondock Saints was made and distributed three years after Duffy’s first keystroke. The documentary, Overnight (2003), is a good view about Duffy and the pains and gains of the film world and how behavior causes tension for most involved with the production. Duffy eventually found funding and a production company with enough patience, to release a The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (2009) and rumors that a third installment is in the works have been flying around for years like drunken fists at a Philly St. Patty’s Day parade. Nothing is set as of today.
The Boondock Saints is a funny action-packed flick that comments on the violent society around us and how the good seem to be in a constant daily struggle due to the evil that men do. Over the years, Boondock has become a cult classic phenomenon and most fans can recite a majority of its lines as they do to a Tarantino film. Mark Wahlberg was envisioned to be cast but passed to make Paul Thomas Anderson’s equally successful Boogie Nights (1997). Other notable names were originally thrown around for casting such as Brendan Fraser, Ewan McGregor, Patrick Swayze, Sylvester Stallone, and Bill Murray. All in all, I believe Flannery and Reedus were the best actors for their roles and seemed to fit them like a glove.
So if you are in the mood for a perfect combination of Boston Irish còmhrag, blood and Catholic-tinged vigilante justice in excessive portions then The Boondock Saints is sure to please. Not that I condone offensive violence by any means but the great Charles Bronson said it best when he shared, “What about the old American social custom of self-defense? If the police don’t defend us, maybe we ought to do it ourselves.”