While The Boondock Saints is by no means a masterpiece, it is a far cry from the worthless trash heap that critics have made it out to be ever since its release. It's a bizarre film that echoes Tarantino, but not in a good way. Still, if it's mindless action violence you're looking for, there's few films that can provide you with the kind of fix you can get from The Boondock Saints.
Apart from a hilariously over-the-top performance from veteran character actor Willem Dafoe, the performances aren't very good. Both Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus kinda suck as Irishmen, with both of them giving half-assed Irish accents that are so bad it makes them both sound like the Lucky Charms leprechaun. Add that to the fact that there is very little story and you'd think this film would end up at the bottom of the $5.00 bin at Wal-Mart. And yet, there's something about it. Something that signifies its status as a cult hit. I can't put my finger on it, but I'm certain it's there.
I suppose what makes The Boondock Saints so unforgettable is its impressive self-awareness. It never promises anything more or less than it is. From the get go, we are given a mindless rollercoaster led by two "Irish" brothers who want to murder the mob. What you see is what you get. It's hard not to enjoy this film because of how mind-numbingly ridiculous it is. We all know what we're getting. Let's stop acting like we're expecting Heat or something.
The Boondock Saints is a fun, mindless action film that never tries to be more than what it is. Initially trashed by critics up on release, and flopping hard at the box office, it has since gained a massive following and becoming a cult classic. It's not one of the best movies ever made, but like I said, it's an extremely fun, action romp that is nothing more than a good time.
Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery play the two Irish brothers on a mission killing mafia members. While their accents tend to be all over the place, their performances themselves are pretty good. They are at least believable as two brothers and tend to be generally likable leads. David Della Rocco gives a good, more crazy, performance as Rocco. He definitely provides some the film's more funny moments. The one that steals the show, though, is veteran actor Willem Dafoe. He gives a glorious, over the top performance as a flamboyant cop hot on the brothers' tracks. He fully commits to the role, quickly becoming the standout character of the piece. The film features several standout action scenes, with my personal favorite being the shootout at the hotel.
While The Boondock Saints has been compared to a light Tarantino, one could argue the same thing for any stylish action film released in the 90s. There are definitely hints, but the film largely stands on its own. There's a reason it has gone on to gained a huge cult following. It's a film that knows what it is and delivers exactly that. Nothing more, Nothing less.