Movie review: 'Boondock Saints 2' returns to the source

  • Updated: November 12, 2009 - 6:49 PM
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Julie Benz and Clifton Collins Jr. in "Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day."

Photo: Apparition Films, Star Tribune

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There's a slapdash punk rock vibe to this sequel (★★, rated R for violence, language and some nudity) that shouldn't bother fans of the original 1999 cult hit. As for everyone else, you've been warned. The film follows the vigilante McManus brothers (returning stars Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery), fun-loving Irish Catholic lads who think they're on a divine mission to assassinate evil men. Before a showdown, one wisecracks, "Let's do some gratuitous violence," which is the movie's guiding principle.

The brothers' quest to rid Boston of wickedness is a jamboree of hard drinking, hooliganism and trigger-happy high jinks; this is surely the first film where a mobster is bludgeoned with a salami. The film spins off in "Godfather"-inspired flashbacks and outlandish fantasy sequences. Julie Benz (of TV's "Dexter," pictured with Clifton Collins Jr.) plays a steel-magnolia Southern FBI agent who studies the boys' crime scene carnage, then imagines herself into their shootouts. She struts through the biggest firefight of them all inexplicably dressed in cowgirl-gunslinger garb, as if she were in a Vegas version of "Annie, Get Your Gun." Peter Fonda plays an aged Mafia don with a flagrantly bad Italian accent. It's as if writer/director Troy Duffy threw every idea he had at the wall, creating a very messy wall.

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