My assistant manager suggested The Boondock Saints to me because I thoroughly enjoyed Snatch, so when I popped this film into my VCR at 11:30 last night, I expected to be laughing my ass off.
Unfortunately, it turns out that The Boondock Saints is not a comedy as much as it is a morality tale, but I still found it entertaining and well done.
The movie is about two brothers who go around killing criminals (and taking their money), and the detective who is tracking them. There is comedy involved in the way that the brothers take everything seriously and with a grain of salt at the same time, as well as the thought processes that go in inside the detective's mind.
Willem Dafoe delivers a stellar performance as the gay detective who becomes so engrossed with his case that he jumps around the crime scene, literally, trying to figure it out. Some of the funniest moments of the film come from him, as he does many strange things throughout the course of the movie. Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery play the two brothers, and they also deliver very well done roles that deserve a round of applause. They represent the common man who is sick and tired of the violence in the streets, and they don't mind taking a little cash on the side.
The best part about The Boondock Saints, however, is the direction. The movie works with flashbacks several times and those flashbacks are extremely effective. I like how the film shows the results of some scene that hasn't happened yet, and then goes back to show how things ended up the way they did. Furthermore, there is one scene, a masterpiece, that rises above all others... Dafoe is trying to reenact a shootout, and we get to see two timelines going on at once, with Dafoe standing there, musing, while the action is taking on in the past. Brilliant. Just brilliant.
I really didn't pick up the moral dilemma until the end, but it is hard to miss by that point, as the film interviews several people on their opinions during the credits.
The Boondock Saints has it all. It manages to blend some comedy in with gritty action, violence, and drama, and pull it off all without losing the moral question involved.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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