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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > Crime > Gangster > The Boondock Saints II – All Saints Day (2009/Sony Blu-ray)

The Boondock Saints II – All Saints Day (2009/Sony Blu-ray)


Picture: B     Sound: B     Extras: B     Film: B-



Boondock Saints was surely a sleeper hit in 1999.  The crime drama by no means did well in theaters, as it only saw limited release, but soon exploded on home video and obtained a humongous cult following.  A sequel had been talked up for years, but took nearly a decade to get off the ground and into theaters as problems plagued its arrival.  I had high hopes for the sequel, though it is an inevitable fact that sequels are a tough thing to swallow.  Sequels have to outdo or at least live up to the predecessor, while introducing new aspects without disrupting what had previously made the original great.  I can say that Boondock Saints II was entertaining, but sadly I must report it fails to meet expectations.


The film takes place 8 years after the original with the MacManus brothers (Conner and Murphy) having fled to Ireland.  The MacManus brothers live a humble and rugged life with their father Noah.  It seems that eight years earlier the boys had murdered mob boss Papa Joe Yakavetta in the middle of a court room; knowing their lives were in jeopardy, they fled to the mother country to seek guarded shelter.  As the film starts the boys receive news that a well known and charitable priest was killed in ‘The Saints’ trademark cross bullet through the skull manner.  The ritual assignation stirs up rumors in the Boston area that The Saints are back and out for blood; with half the city saying it was them and others in disbelief.  The murder was a blatant attempt to get the boys back in town and guess what? It worked.  The boys clean up and ship out.  The MacManus brothers covertly take a freighter ship to the USA, on which they meet an aggressive little Hispanic named Romeo.  Romeo is a big fan of the boys work and convinces them to let him join their team.  The duo, of course, has some fun with Romeo, essentially making him their gopher until he has earned their respect.  Hot on the case of the murdered priest and Paul Smecker’s (Willem Dafoe’s character from the first film) protégé is Eunice Bloom (Julie Benz of Showtime’s Dexter); who possesses Smecker’s unique talents and quickly realizes the MacManus brother’s innocence.  There is more to Bloom than meets the eye, whose talents prove to be crucial to the MacManus’ cause.  The film travels the path of good vs. evil once again, but mysterious characters become quite revealing of the MacManus past.  We story mostly focuses on The Saints clearing their name, but also their father’s shady past.


I found the film entertaining, but lacked the heart and smoothness of the first film.  Overall, I would say the film is choppy to the point of distracting.  Certain elements are rushed, whereas others are dragged out way too long; constantly disrupting the flow of the film.  I even found myself confused by the film as I was not emotionally invested in the characters and it seemed to be a desperate attempt at a sequel rather than a stand alone film.  I hear whispers of a third film being made or perhaps a follow-up comic book; either way I still want more.  The film had potentially, but somehow got lost along the way.  I think the ending of this film would have been a better path to take than the way Saints II went down.  The end was an enticing concept and Catholic Church conspiracy angle is a much better twist than anything this sequel delivered.


The technical features on this Blu-ray were adequate at best.  The picture is a 1080p 2.35 X 1 that has its moments of greatness, but overall was lacking color and had a gritty quality that was too much.  The facial details were better, but the sad part is that clarity only highlighted the age of the MacManus brothers who looked pretty wrinkly a decade later.  The textures and black levels were nice, but I found the quality a tad soft at times and far from the best.  The sound is a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless mix with solid directionality, but I thought it could have been more powerful as the gunslinger film deserved a boisterous bass track coupled with immersive directionality.  The dialogue track was of an admirable quality, but little else impressed me.


The extras included Deleted Scenes that neither add nor detract from the experience; Filmmaker & Cast Commentary which I found entertaining as it was enthusiastic, tough not wholly insightful; Unprecedented Access: Behind the Scenes Featurette that is mildly entertaining though it tends to drag; Bill Connolly and Troy Duffy: Unedited interview.  There are also some Blu-ray exclusives including a Inside the Vault: The Weapons Featurette; The Cast Confesses: Secrets from the Set Featurette that is not so revealing; The Boondock Saints Hit Comic-Con Featurette, which I always find entertaining to see stars interacting at.  Also included are MovieIQ features and BDLive.


I am curious to see what the future of The Boondock Saints holds.  This film may have been somewhat disappointing, but the potential for greatness is there and the modern day Irish cowboy concept remains an interesting one.



For more on the first film, try our previous coverage in the both formats:









-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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