I'm hoping to see Boondock Saints II this weekend while I'm traveling for Thanksgiving. Living in the Wild West means that the movie isn't showing here. Here is my long-delayed review of the original.
A With Both Hands Mini-Review
Written and directed by Troy Duffy
Starring Willem Dafoe, Sean Patrick Flannery, Norman Reedus, Billy Connolly
Boondock Saints is one of my favorite movies. I say this to make it clear that I like the movie despite [or because of] it being terrible. Upon watching the movie prior to writing this review, I was struck by just how unpolished it seemed. However, I think this is really to the movie's credit, because it was shot quickly on a small budget. Listening to the commentary track was also instructive. Troy Duffy actually received a letter from the Archdiocese of Toronto calling him the spawn of Satan and his script the work of Satan, and refused to allow him to film on Church property. This explains the strangeness of the church used in the movie (it's actually a Methodist church) and the incorrect order of the Mass and deviant wording of the Our Father. Duffy not being Catholic, there was no one to clue him in.
I can understand the reluctance of the Archdiocese of Toronto to get involved. Boondock Saints is really about vengeance and vigilantism, both things the Catholic Church strictly forbids. In fact, for a private party to take on the function of the state in dispensing justice is to de facto declare war on that state. But for all that, I think the premise is nonetheless broadly comprehensible to a lot of people: letting the obviously guilty go free for procedural reasons is a manifest injustice. My best guess as to why I like this movie so much is that it puts a pseudo-Catholic tinge on the popular feeling that justice has not yet been satisfied. Plus it's fun to watch bad guys get killed in interesting ways.