The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (2009)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day</strong> (2009)

(In theatres, December 2009) This sequel would normally have come as a surprise given the first film’s nonexistent theatrical release, but the intervening years have seen The Boondock Saints become a bit of a cult classic, and this sequel is all about bringing back the fans to the video store: Once again, two McManus brothers are in Boston laying waste to the city’s criminal elements, and we’re supposed to cheer for them as the film provides a steady succession of shootouts.  It’s supposed to be cool and funny, and writer/director Troy Duffy actually delivers on this promise: All Saints Day is often dedicated to pure fan-service, and those who haven’t seen the first film may feel left out of the fun.  Beyond the winks, though, there’s a decently entertaining crime comedy, noticeably funnier  than the  and perhaps even more striking now that Tarantinoesque crime comedies don’t show up as often at the local Cineplex.  This time, Julie Benz steps into Willem Dafoe’s shoes as the standout character: a drawling FBI agent so smart she “makes smart people feel like retards” but whose feistiness (and high heels) brings much to the film.  Her character’s dramatic arc is nearly identical to Defoe’s in the prequel, reaching an apex during a crime scene re-creation, and then dwindling down in the film’s closing moments until a little bit of a twist.  The other strong scene of All Saints Day belongs to David Della Rocco, who returns to the series just in time for an inspiring speech.  Otherwise, the writing can be a bit hit-and-miss, but the overall result is faithful to the original in providing a mixture of righteous vigilante violence.  (Too bad we also have to ignore the racist stereotypes, mild homophobia, low-budget corner-cutting or occasionally dull back-story.)  Fans will be satisfied and non-fans are advised to look to the first film as an indication of whether this one will make them happy.

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