Wed November 18, 2009
Boondocks Saints II: All Saints Day
Catholic Crime Catalyst
By John DeSando, WCBE's "It's Movie Time," "Cinema Classics," and "On the Marquee"
As with the Da Vinci Code series, the Catholic Church has been a catalyst again for crime as two Irish Catholic brothers (Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus) return to cause more mayhem in Boondocks Saints II: All Saints Day. To avenge the murder of a beloved priest, the boys commit to countless bodies until they reach the alleged master mind, who has been making cameos since he rode a famous motorcycle with an American flag in the '60's.
Although I suspect writer/director Troy Duffy has been influenced by Quentin Tarantino, this Boondocks installment is no Pulp Fiction or Kill Bill for that matter. It's just a garden variety, stylized revenge story with enough blood and beautiful guns to attract an audience that cares little for nuance or deep characterization. The addition of a bad girl FBI agent (Julie Benz) with the good looks of a successful cougar is welcome given the high count of ugly thugs.
The addition of the boys' elderly gun-totin' father lends new meaning to the idea of family loyalty, Mafia or otherwise. The good news is that the film employs only a few Irish stereotypes such as heavy drinking. No ethnic group is left unscathed, especially the Spanish and Italians, perhaps because their cooking is so much better than the Irish's that the more of them the director can dispatch, the better the Irish stew.
A stew it is, not fine film dining. In the end, the boys seem poised in prison to break out and go after the Vatican. Or at least I hope so because all my Catholic training says the priests have much more mischief left than just Dan Brown silliness.
Boondocks Saints II: All Saints Day is a holy mess of murder. Didn't they all learn that those are mortal sins worthy of eternal damnation, or maybe we're all to expiate our sins by seeing the film?
John DeSando teaches film at Franklin University and co-hosts WCBE 90.5's It's Movie Time, Cinema Classics, and On the Marquee, which can be heard streaming at http://publicbroadcasting.net/wcbe/ppr/index.shtml and on demand at http://www.publicbroadcasting.net/wcbe/arts.artsmain Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.RR.com