The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (R)
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This is, of course, the sequel to The Boondock Saints. It came out in 2009, but I didn't see it until 2019 (on All Saints Day, though despite the title, the movie has nothing to do with the holiday). Because the original film had developed a strong cult following, this movie got to be made with a larger budget. But it was received about as poorly by critics as the first movie. (At the time I watched it, the original movie had a 22% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and this one had 23%, though I don't think that one point difference means any critics necessarily thought it was better than the first movie. If anything, I would guess that most critics thought it was worse.) As for myself... well, it's been seven years since I watched the first movie, so I don't remember it very well, and it's hard for me to compare the two movies. I'd say I probably liked this one slightly less, but only because it didn't feel substantially different to me. It's entirely possible that if I'd seen this one first, I would have liked it somewhat more than the original. Anyway, both movies have plenty of badassery, humor, and general weirdness.
I do need to reveal something about the first movie that I didn't mention in my review of it. It turned out that "Il Duce" was actually Noah McManus, the father of Connor and Murphy. So of course he didn't kill them, as he'd been sent to do, but instead joined them in killing mob boss Joe Yakavetta. At the start of this movie, the three of them are living in Ireland. But back in Boston, a priest is murdered in the style of the McManus brothers, to frame them and lure them out of hiding. The hitman had been sent by Concezio Yakavetta (Judd Nelson), who is Joe's son and apparently the new boss. The rest of the mobsters don't really want the brothers returning to Boston, considering how many mobsters they killed eight years ago, but Concezio is determined to get revenge for his father's murder. Of course, the McManus brothers realize it's a trap, but they don't care. They're not about to let people think they killed a priest.
On the way back to Boston, they meet a guy named Romeo, who is a fan of their vigilante work, and wants to join them. They put him through some hazing, but they accept him as one of their own. Meanwhile, the case of the priest's murder is being investigated by FBI Special Agent Eunice Bloom (Julie Benz), whose style is not unlike that of Paul Smecker from the first movie, though I do think Bloom was more likable. She works with a couple of cops from the first movie, whom I didn't really remember at all, but it was made very clear that they were allies of the McManus brothers, a fact which they were desperate to conceal. And... there are other characters I should probably mention, but I don't care enough about them to bother. And there's at least one major plot twist I'm not going to spoil.
Anyway, I suppose the movie was reasonably fun, mostly for seeing how the brothers' imagined their plans going, and then how they actually worked out. Just like in the first movie, they're really good at killing bad guys, but kind of redonkulous at making plans. It's like they're trying to act like badass and totally cool characters in an action movie, which sometimes makes them look silly, when they could be so much cooler if they stuck to what they do best. But I'm glad they don't, because their mix of serious skill and ineptitude is what makes the movies amusing, and gives them their unique style. And that's all I can think to say, I guess.