Friday, July 30, 2010

Down In The Boondocks

Today I've decided to continue my very irregular series of Liveblogs. As always, I must state that, if this were truly a liveblog, observations would have been posted in real time instead of being written ahead of time and posted at midnight. I just don't know what the hell else to call this. Pupablog would work but it sounds kind of gross so Liveblog it is. How this works is I pick a movie I haven't seen from Netflix Watch Instantly list and do a running commentary on it. The main purpose is for laughs which is why I've picked low hanging fruit like Hannah Montana and Species IV but, today, I'm going to do something that's such a cult classic that Regal Cinemas has shown it as a special event in just the past few months which means I may end up liking it and this whole thing will be a miserable failure, joke-wise at least. So everyone sit back and revel as my genius is exposed for the very first time to what is described as a quirky and violent crime thriller The Boondock Saints.

0:01:00 -- We open in Boston. I am not reassured by the fact that they chose the ugliest part of Boston to shoot their second unit exteriors.

0:03:48 -- Two creepy looking guys in black coats just walked up the aisle during a church service as the priest was speaking and no one objected or even noticed them. Maybe they're wearing those Harry Potter invisibility cloaks. Wait, one visiting priest saw them. He must have +5 vs. invisibility.

00:07:40 -- After some stupid, meaningless scenes at a meat packing plant, we've moved to a neighborhood Irish bar. The owner who has Tourettes for no real plot specific reason announces his lease on the bar will not be renewed. That's a shame because if there's one thing that's hard to find in Boston, it's an Irish bar.

00:08:30 -- Now everyone in the bar is being intimidated by gang of Russian stereotypes, the leader of which talks like Boris Badenov. I'm not exaggerating about that.

00:15:00 -- The bar scene faded to black before what looked like a major league fight was about to break out between the Irish guys and the Russians who had mistaken them for Moose and Squirrel. We see two dead Russians in an alley the next day which shows that the Russians' brilliant strategy of going after a barful of angry Irishmen with just three guys of their own somehow failed to pay off. Judging by this scene, the Boston Police Department only employs severely retarded people so it's good that Willem Dafoe showed up as FBI Agent Paul Smecker. Smecker wears a pink suit and listens to opera on a Discman (this is 1999) as he literally dances around the crime scene. As I suspected when I saw the bartender with Tourettes, this movie is making every character colorful simply for the sake of being colorful.

00:29:00 -- We've found out that, after getting their asses kicked in the bar, the Russians went after the film's heroes, the McManus brothers, at their crappy home. They cuff Connor McManus to a toilet and take the other, Murphy, out in the alley to shoot him. Why not shoot him in the apartment? Because that would have been inconvenient for the plot. Connor manages to yank the toilet he's cuffed to out of the wall and drops it from the roof onto the lead Russian. Connor obviously had years of precision toilet dropping training since he tossed it from 4 floors and hit the Russian instead of the other McManus brother who was right next to him. They also must be doing all this inside the Matrix since Connor jumped four stories down onto the other Russian and survived with nothing but a twisted ankle. We've also learned this is a very poorly written and directed movie. The music shifts from standard Irish fare to cheap electronic crap without notice. Camera angles and slow motion effects are done with the proficiency of a director just out of film school. Some of the dialogue is ok but most of it is stupid and, as I said before, the characters are all overly colorful for no good reason. This is a lousy movie which is AWESOME because that means by bad movie instincts weren't wrong.

0:50:00 -- Yeah, ok. The reason this movie is called The Boondock Saints is because Jesus, the Prince of Peace whose mercy is infinite, has called upon the McManus brothers to become ruthless, homicidal vigilantes. They respond to this call by doing what Jesus would do: they storm a room full of Russian mobsters and, in accordance with the Lord's wishes, shoot them in the face. They also show a sick, Christ-like sense of humor by making a friend of theirs think they are going to shoot him. Also, the movie is almost half over and Willem Dafoe's character is gay. All caught up? Cool.

0:52:00 -- They shot a cat. I like cats. Fuck you, writer/director Troy Duffy. Seriously, fuck you.

1:10:00 -- Just wanted to say I really miss Species IV. That movie also had film making incompetence on all levels but it also had a super sexy Swedish woman who kept taking off her clothes.

1:16:00 -- This movie is basically a series of episodes. The McManus brothers and their dumbass, overacting partner Rocco go from place to place shooting up bad guys in a stylized way. Willem Dafoe and his merry band of chunkheads analyze the aftermath, come up with jack and whine about it.

1:20:00 -- Jesus has apparently had second thoughts about employing His own personal hit squad so He caused an unintentionally hilarious fire fight between the vigilantes and some sort of super criminal called Il Duce. That's an Italian name so they naturally cast Scotsman Billy Connolly. Approximately 8000 rounds of ammo are shot by expert marksmen during this scene in which the two sides are both wide open and within 15 feet of each other. Maybe 3 shots actually hit their targets. Also Willem's hard to describe what he does here. Let's say that the time he played a villain who regularly leeched himself is no longer his most ridiculous role.

1:48:40 -- Yay, the movie's over. The McManus brothers and Rocco were captured by some Italian mobster stereotypes. They shot Rocco then left the brothers by themselves in the same way Blofeld used to leave James Bond in a shark tank by himself. They are assisted by Dafoe who, feeling that he could, in fact, find a way to go to even lower depths, dresses up as a woman* so he can sneak into the mob lair and make out with fat Italians before shooting them. He gets knocked out by Il Duce who then seems to have the McManus brothers where he wants them until SURPRISE it turns out he's actually their father and no, I did not make that up. The Clan McManus then breaks into a courthouse where a mobster is on trial and, after a pretentious and over-the-top speech, kill him. I know, I didn't see that coming either.

Have we learned anything from all this? I've learned three things. 1) I'm glad the 90s are over because they were loaded with crappy Tarantino ripoffs like this. 2)I don't know who the hell decides what is and is not a Cult Classic but whoever it is should be fired. And finally 3) If you're going to make a bad movie, make sure it has a hot, naked Swedish woman like Species IV did. I may watch that again.

* This includes a scene where Dafoe is writhing in sexual ecstasy on the floor. As a bonus, you get an upskirt shot. Seriously, why the hell is this movie a cult classic?


Dan Coyle said...

This movie came out in 2000. Now, I rented it when it came out (Hey, I like Sean Flannery and Billy Connolly, so sue me). I thought it was awful and said to a friend if Flannery had any good sense that he would have his agent murdered.

Suddenly, a year later, everyone's telling me about this thing called The Boondock Saints. I'm gobsmacked people find Duffy's competent but uninspired nastiness entertaining. I'm astonished anyone can stand to look at Norman Reedus for that length of time. Seriously.

It became one of those movies where I'd say, "Yeah, I saw it," then immediately change the subject, because I couldn't stand to argue about something so obvious.

At last year's New York Comic Con, Flannery and Duffy stopped by the Fox booth to a glob of adoring fans. Really, seriously, they were MOBBED. I still wonder, oh I wonder, what they saw that I couldn't.

Michael Clear said...

They were probably promoting the sequel that came out last year. I just can't see why this film has so many fans. By coincidence, about four hours before this review went up someone on my Twitter feed joyously informed everyone that "The Boondock Saints" was about to come on TV. I had just gotten done watching it on Netflix and I thought, "Thanks for the warning," but she meant it as good news.