The Boondock Saints filmmaker Troy Duffy certainly makes for an easy target—at least his former friends thought so when they made the 2003 doc Overnight, a rise-fall-and-turnaround portrait of Duffy’s hubris and recklessness during the making of his first and only film. To his credit, not only did Duffy get his 1999 crime thriller made for less than half of the Weinsteins’ promised budget, but its crippled release still found an excitable cult following from VHS to Blu-Ray. Here, then, is the inevitable sequel, and if you don’t already know about the devout Irish Catholic twins McManus (Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery) who deliver vigilante justice to Boston’s underworld with the help of a rogue FBI Special Agent, don’t sweat it: That’s also the plot of Boondock Saints II‘s childish daydream. Willem Dafoe’s gay fed is out, replaced by his sexed-up protégée Julie Benz, and the Saints are joined by Clifton Collins Jr. as a goofy but loyal Latino brawler who helps them find a mysterious priest killer and tries to look bad-ass while walking in slow motion. John Woo outgrew stylizing movies like this in the ’90s, but Duffy is still chasing his perfect slide-and-shoot, except now with more self-satisfied posturing, awkward pop-culture referencing, casual homophobia and racism, and the most vulgar co-opting of religious iconography this side of Dan Brown.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 27, 2009