Forgotten Classic: The Boondock Saints

It feels wrong saying a film that has made $50 million in video sales is forgotten, but here goes. This is The Boondock Saints. The film stars Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus as the MacManus Brothers, staunch Irish Catholics who become vigilantes after killing two members of the Russian Mafia in self-defence. The two brothers later decide to clear the city of all crime and evil, however, FBI Agent Paul Smecker (Willem Dafoe) is pursuing them.

The script, written by first timer Troy Duffy and was the subject of a bidding war between Paramount and Miramax (Miramax eventually winning). Casting went from Stephen Dorff, Mark Wahlberg, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Murray and Mike Myers , before the eventual cast. However, just before pre-production Miramax pulled out of the project and Duffy moved to independent studio, Franchise Pictures. The filming eventually took place in Canada and Boston with Duffy's own band, The Brood doing the soundtrack. Billy Connolly also joined the cast.

Despite limited screenings, Duffy came to a deal with Blockbuster video, which saw the film released direct to video, and was a huge success. A sequel was released direct to video starring the original cast and did quite positively.

The film seems to a love it or hate it movie, with everyone who's seen it having a strong opinion on it. The reason I'd say it stands out is because it's not the run of the mill standard action movie. The film is not crammed with action scenes, which adds to it's charm, but those that it does have are stylishly directed and highly original - making it stand out. With the Irish Catholic theme, we also see a deep insight into the main characters, which you rarely get to see in action film. Whilst half action movie, the other is an intelligent and entertaining crime thriller, with a particularly enjoyable performance from Willem Dafoe. Smecker isn't the stereotypical film cop, he has some particularly good lines. The character is also gay, however this does not affect the plot in any way and is not drawn upon, which was a bold movie from Duffy. Did I mention he also drag's it up in the film's finale?

Performances from Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus are the finest of their careers, and both reprised their roles in the highly enjoyable sequel. It's also worth watching for Billy Connolly in an understated, yet enjoyable serious role. The music from Duffy's band The Brood is also perfect for the film's atmosphere, and the Brother's Irish-American background.

It's not the easiest to find on DVD/Blu-Ray but it's worth hunting down.

Willem Dafoe 6437960902076749106

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