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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (review)

Depraved Incompetence

If I didn’t know better, I’d have guessed, merely from the title alone, that The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day was meant to be some sort of attempt at parody. I mean, really: All Saints Day? It’s like one of those horror movies that attempts to shoehorn a mass killing into a random holiday not generally known for mayhem.
And then, the first few minutes of the film don’t do much to allay the suspicion that this is all a big joke. Our dubious heroes, Connor and Murphy MacManus (Sean Patrick Flanery [Kiss the Bride] and Norman Reedus [8MM]) are hiding out from the ten-years-ago killing spree they went on in Boston in The Boondock Saints by — *snort* — working as shepherds in rural Ireland and — *SNORT* — by cultivating some of the most hilariously awful hair in the history of cinema:

I kept expecting one of them to grumble, in a Monty Python Michael Palin hermit voice, “It’s…” to usher us into an opening credits sequence animated by Terry Gilliam. Though even just grumbling that in their terrible Irish accents would have been funny enough.

But no: it gets even better. The lads learn that someone back in Boston has killed a priest — a priest! — and made it look like they did it, so vengeance has to be theirs… again. They chop off the hair and engage in some of the most hilariously gratuitous nudity ever filmed as they shower off the dirt of Ireland. All the while, Billy Connolly (The X-Files: I Want to Believe, Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties), as their father-slash-vicious hitman, plays a demented hobbit who spouts some of the most hilariously nonsensical faux philosophical bullshit ever committed to film, such as, “Peace, they say, is the enemy of memory,” which I bet writer-director Troy Duffy assembled using a box of magnetic poetry.

Now, mind you, this is all in the first ten minutes of the film (much of which you can watch at IGN). There’s still another hour and 50 minutes to go.

Alas, however, after the brothers get mixed up in a fight club on the way home to Boston — they travel, all subterfuge like, on a cargo ship, where they meet poor Clifton Collins Jr. (Extract, Crank: High Voltage), who is here forced to play the “comic” Mexican sidekick Romeo — the humor comes to an abrupt end. Unless you count Duffy’s smug self-satisfaction and willingness to lean out of the screen and fellate his audience as funny. I found it riotously awful and simultaneously vile, this orgy of sexualized violence with no point except to give itself something to jerk off to. Best/worst moment: One of the endless gun battles the MacManuses get themselves into gets replayed in slow motion, in case you lost your boner over it too quickly and need some fluffing.

Is it funny, too, that a movie could be so depraved, so vicious, so revoltingly antisocial — the Keystone Kops of Boston are as vigilante-bad as the MacManuses, so we might as well just throw any semblance of law and order out the window — and also so incompetent? There isn’t a moment here that is not a visual cliché, from the “is she in a rock video?” entrance of FBI special agent Eunice Bloom (Julie Benz: Rambo, Taken) — six-inch dominatrix heels are so practical at crime scenes — to every single phallic display of a gun being, er, cocked and shot off.

The script, too, cannot wait to regale you with jokes about excrement and prison rape, and with fantasies about bloodshed and “righteous” violence (because as long as a killer carries rosary beads and believes he’s doing God’s work, it’s all good, apparently). Because, you see, this is what being a real man is all about. Real men eat red meat. Real men joke about rape. Real men don’t talk about their feelings, they express their emotion via guns.

That’s not my interpretation of what Duffy is saying: he actually says it. After an hour and 45 minutes of unmistakable, not-even–metaphoric depictions of what he thinks a real man is, he stops what little forward momentum the “story” has for a bizarre, dream-sequence aside to have a character spell it out for you. In case you were too stupid to get it, perhaps.

In any event, it’s sort of hard to get too worked up about All Saints Day because, as much as Duffy is clearly in love with himself, even he’s sure that he’s so unconvincing that he needs to underline it all.

It’s still a foickin’ piece of shite, though.


MPAA: rated R for bloody violence, language and some nudity

viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

official site | IMDb | trailer
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine
  • doa766

    no Willem Dafoe playing the homosexual homophobic FBI agent again?

    not gonna see it then

  • It’s still a foickin’ piece of shite, though.

    Hilarious!

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    Seriously: I like Irish people. I love Americans. Yet, somehow, Americans who like to pretend to be Irish are the most annoying human beings on the face of the Earth. How does this happen? It’s two great tastes that taste nauseating together.

  • Aaron

    “I’m MaryAnn Johanson: writer and ponderer in New York City who drinks too much wine and thinks way too much about such inconsequences as movies, TV, books, and the meaning of life.”

    why you even watched this movie i will never know, it was not made for, nor intended to entertain one who drinks too much wine and thinks way too much about such inconsequences as movies, TV, Books, and of course the meaning your life. To you this movie would hold no meaning, and little or no entertainment for it does not deal with Global Warming or the ethical treatment of Chickens. Go review “So he’s just not that into You” and eat some cookie dough.

  • Lisa

    ^ see MaryAnn Johanson : film critic

    besides she has to review this movie – I’ve been looking forward to her review of this for ages!

  • MaryAnn

    why you even watched this movie i will never know, it was not made for, nor intended to entertain one who drinks too much wine and thinks way too much about such inconsequences as movies, TV, Books, and of course the meaning your life. To you this movie would hold no meaning, and little or no entertainment for it does not deal with Global Warming or the ethical treatment of Chickens. Go review “So he’s just not that into You” and eat some cookie dough.

    And so it begins.

    Between the Michael Jackson fans and the Troy Duffy devotees, it should prove to be an interesting weekend around here…

  • GoodApprentice

    It took me three attempts to sit through the original movie. My younger friend loved it and wanted to know my opinion. Struggling to watch it, I couldn’t believe how much our opinions differed. Especially vexing was the film’s misguided and unshakeable belief in it’s own greatness. The dialogue, editing, storyline, and acting were all just terrible. It wasn’t funny or fun, it was just bad stuff all around. But, apparently, some people love to consume garbage. I now just consider Boondock Saints to be the “pork rinds” of cinema and allow the viewing public to ingest what it will. But just don’t try to convince me that it’s “great” in any way.

    Good job MaryAnn. I won’t be forcing myself to watch this movie.

  • Neil

    why you even watched this movie i will never know, it was not made for, nor intended to entertain one who drinks too much wine and thinks way too much about such inconsequences as movies, TV, Books, and of course the meaning your life. To you this movie would hold no meaning, and little or no entertainment for it does not deal with Global Warming or the ethical treatment of Chickens. Go review “So he’s just not that into You” and eat some cookie dough.

    Sigh…where to begin?

    1. Since when do you, Aaron, decide who a movie is “made for?”

    2. Why do you capitalize random words? (Books, Global Warming, Chickens…)

    3. I’m pretty sure the name of the movie is He’s Just Not That Into You which, as you’ll notice, I have capitalized all the words of, because it’s a movie title.

    Seriously, why? Why would you come on this person’s website and post something like this? It’s one thing to disagree with the woman’s opinions, but you’re actually questioning her right to express her opinions…and she’s a professional f&*cking writer and film critic!!

    I visit this site on a fairly regular basis, and I see the occasional idiotic comment, and for the most part I can ignore ’em, but this one really pissed me off for some reason…

  • MaryAnn

    you’re actually questioning her right to express her opinions

    And my right to drink too much wine!

    The cad!

  • Aaron

    I agree that it is MaryAnn’s job to review movies, i also agree that my capitalization skills need much improvement. Where i do not agree is, I cannot take a movie critic seriously who uses:

    “I found it riotously awful and simultaneously vile, this orgy of sexualize violence with no point except to give itself something to jerk off to.”

    as a talking point to describe what perhaps may have been over the top, or just not the critics cup of tea. Using language like this negates any real review of the movie.
    I couldn’t care less if MaryAnn enjoyed this film, and writing a reasonable response to reflect that is her prerogative but show some talent in the article for crying out loud. Review the film not the director of which she obviously has a personal problem with. Review the acting not the length and dirtiness of their hair. Criticize the holes in the plot not the watcher (“In case you were too stupid to get it, perhaps.”)

    Until then, your “review” is as flawed as my capitalization expertise.

  • Neil

    Aaron, Aaron, Aaron…

    I couldn’t care less if MaryAnn enjoyed this film, and writing a reasonable response to reflect that is her prerogative but show some talent in the article for crying out loud. Review the film not the director of which she obviously has a personal problem with. Review the acting not the length and dirtiness of their hair. Criticize the holes in the plot not the watcher (“In case you were too stupid to get it, perhaps.”)

    You’re overthinking it, m’boy. Here’s the thing: Maryann’s review can be boiled down to “This movie is a piece of shit.” I seriously doubt she has a “personal problem” with the director, whom, in all likelihood, she’s never met; but as a fan of film, (and a critic), she has a problem with the piece-of-crap movie he’s made! You see how it works?

    I know, I know; you think I’m some Maryann fanboy. Not at all. I enjoy her site, she’s a decent writer, and I appreciate her opinions, even though I might not necessarily agree with her all the time. For example, if a new John Carpenter film came out tomorrow and Maryann gave it the dreaded red light, and bashed it even worse than she did this one, I’d still go and see it, because I’m a huge Carpenter fan; he gets a pass from me simply based on The Thing. BUT – if it were a total piece-of-shit movie, hardcore Carpenter fan or not, I’d be the first to say “man, he really dropped the ball on this one.”

    Criticize the holes in the plot not the watcher

    Yeah, but the whole fucking movie sounds like a plot hole…which is the point she was trying to make. In case you were too stupid to get it, perhaps.

  • Very witty – a masterful channelling of Maureen Dowd. I’m gonna channel Douglas Adams and give you 10 out of 10 for style, but minus several million for good thinking.

    Look, it’s clear you don’t like the flick. Fine. Why do you insult those that do? Did you ever try to think of why BDS 2 opened to packed theatres and why the original (and far better) film become a cult classic? Nah. Not worth the effort. Besides, being judgemental and dismissive does have a snug, cozy effect, doesn’t it? But it does make you come off as…what’s the word…smug.

    Another point against you in the thought department – it’s kinda disengenous for you to be outraged on how “vile” the film is, while simultaneously saying how the film’s fans are metaphorically masturbating. Really? That’s the best you came up with? Wow.

    The strange thing about the boondock films is that they are simultaneously loved by filmgoers and loathed by critics. It really is odd, especially in the reaction to the first film. Granted, BDS the first wasn’t exactly a masterpiece. But it was very entertaining, had a riveting and hilarious performance by William DeFoe, and actaully had some ponderings about the morality of vigilantism and the struggle between vengeance and justice. And yet every critic had the same hackneyed reaction to it – “Cheap Tarantino knockoff! Cult Following!” Every critic, in short, seems to just hate the film so much that, by the time they ejaculated all of the anger onto the page, there was no room left to talk about the actual technical and artistic merits of the film – which, y’know, is what film critics are supposed to do.
    Personally, I think most of the venom comes from philosophic/moral/political grounds. I think most critics just can’t stand the unbridled masculinity. They can’t stand the un-ironic, respectful treatment of priests and religion. Duffy seems to have gotten everyone in a terrible tizzy, just by portraying priests who weren’t pedophiles or secretly agnostic, and boys who could have fun just being boys. Yes, they do love guns, too, but leave that aside for a moment.
    That’s why the critics hated the first film – and that’s why a lot of us ordinary folks loved it. It was nice to see a moview that didn’t patronize us.
    BDS II is more of a guilty pleasure movie, of course – but it was very fun. And, if you believe it, I watched every gunshot without getting a hard on.

  • RogerBW

    Ah, but how much wine is too much? (Usually either one glass more, or one fewer, than one actually drank.)

    I can’t speak for MaryAnn, but I do not see the virtue in a post saying, more or less, “well I liked it, so there”. For any film it will be possible to find someone who liked it and someone who didn’t; the existence of such people tells us nothing. Tell me why you liked it; MaryAnn has the courtesy to tell us why she didn’t lke it, and that in turn is enough for me to make an informed decision about whether to see the film.

    If you can’t articulate why you liked it, I suppose that’s information in itself, but it’s not going to persuade me to go and see the film.

  • Muzz

    John Doman seems confused about who’s masturbating who. The passage says the film is jerking itself off. What the audience does after that is their own business.

    No review could match the first film for smugness anyway. That was the most self satisfied, self righteous, preachy piece of nonsense yet. It practically beats you over the head with it. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was ‘just for a larf’ (that way it wouldn’t lurch from the self-serious to the really cheap gag quite so often). But no, that film believed every bit of its own brainless philosophy. It made most other thinly veiled facist revenge fantasies look subtle and complex. It gives only lip service at best to any real moral questions, which some fan will no doubt spin into being a clever theological subtext.
    Heck, I’d probably let all that slide if the action was anything to write home about. But it wasn’t. Borrowing from John Woo I can understand, even if you fail. But Young Guns II? I think that says it all.

  • 9GuysYouF@cked

    You guys are all retarded. It’s a movie. If you don’t wanna see it, don’t see it.

  • Neil

    talk about the actual technical and artistic merits of the film

    So, are you saying that the story is not an artistic merit of the film, John Doman? Because from what I read, that’s mostly what she talked about, and she made a compelling case for why she thinks it sucks.

    As far as technical merits go: I’ll never understand the supposed logic of “But it’s so well made! The lighting, the cinematography…! Doesn’t that count for something?? – Actually, no, it doesn’t really; not when those techniques are in the service of an utterly ridiculous story. And chances are, if you got them alone, some of the people who perform these roles in some of these films would tell you they’d rather not be associated with crap like this…but hey, they gotta put food on the table too.

  • MaryAnn

    No review could match the first film for smugness anyway.

    Perhaps not, but this film is even more smug than the first one.

  • Accounting Ninja

    Go review “So he’s just not that into You” and eat some cookie dough.

    This is such and old, old barb always flung at MAJ (or any female critic, really). You take one look at her gender and assume everything wrong. And it makes you look stupid. Because we all knows how much she luuurved He’s Just Not That Into You *snerk*. And we all know she can’t POSSIBLY love mindless action fun (ahemTransformers,CrankHighVoltageahem) due to her crippling disease of womanhood.

  • Muzz, Neil,
    No confusion here:
    “Unless you count Duffy’s smug self-satisfaction and willingness to lean out of the screen and fellate his audience as funny.”

    But you both need to calm down. It’s just a movie. You people seem to be taking it way too seriously – more seriously than it takes itself. If you really want to know, I’m not a huge fan of either movie, although I enjoyed both. My first comment wasn’t so much on the film itself (which was kind of stupid but lots of fun) as it was to the “review” – less of a review than a cathartic expunging of the reviewer’s deep disgust. Not much analysis, not even of the story. Of course, BDS II doesn’t really afford that much analysis anyway – but the whole BDS franchise is undeniably a social phenomenon. I didn’t even know that this film was coming out until last night when my sister called me and invited me – I didn’t see any trailers, any posters, nothing – but two theaters were packed for a 10 pm screening. The audience cheered, laughed, and applauded during the film, and afterwards knots of people were sticking around to talk about it. Clearly, something was going on here. But none of the critics have deigned to analyze what it is, which I find frustrating. Every review sounds alike – Tarantino knockoff, vile, weird cult following, blah blah blah. It would be refreshing for once to have a review that actually attempted to answer the question of why so many people go to these allegedly horribly-made, mindless films.

    Muzz, if the first film was so self-righteous and preachy, why does it end with interviews on the street of people vehemently disagreeing or agreeing with the Saints’ vigilante crusade? (I would be in the disagreeing class, by the way).
    As for being fascist – look, I know you’re pissed off, but think before you write, seriously. The first film’s premise was the exact opposite of fascism. A fascist fantasy would have the two Irish bros. going into politics (they’d have a good chance, giving that they’re in Boston), and then establishing military tribunals that take away civil rights and imprison without cause.

    But I’m getting off track here. Look, I’m not saying the BDS films are great – heck, I’m not even saying they’re good. All I’m saying is that they exist – and the critics are so put off by this fact that they never get around to actual analysis. The reviewer is angry at this film – so angry that Duffy’s tongue-in-cheek style goes right over her head: “Real men eat red meat. Real men joke about rape. Real men don’t talk about their feelings, they express their emotion via guns. That’s not my interpretation of what Duffy is saying: he actually says it.”
    Yes, he does. It’s a joke. That’s why it’s funny. And that’s why the review fails – because the reviewer allows Duffy to get under her skin, and lashes back. That’s why the review isn’t really a review – it’s a hate letter.
    Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Seriously. But I was kind of annoyed that the hate extended down to the fans of the film as well.

  • Amy C

    Now, now, lets all calm down. Frankly I loved the first movie, It was something different for people to enjoy. I really don’t care if the 2nd part sucks I’m gonna watch it! I have been too busy watching the murder trials here in Knoxville,Tn. Actually I was hoping That Sean, Norman and bill would bust open the doors in the court room and serve some home grown justice, though Davidson did get the Death penalty handed to him yesterday he deserves way worse for his crimes. Back to the saints, The story of getting justice for yourself is one thing and getting it for the world is another. But I would love the concept that there were people out there taking care of business.

  • MaryAnn

    Yes, he does. It’s a joke. That’s why it’s funny.

    No, it’s your interpretation that it’s a joke, and your opinion that it’s funny.

    I disagree with that interpretation, and with that opinion.

  • Chris86

    This is the first film review I’ve read by MaryAnn. I am now a fan. :-)

    The Boondock Saints was a flaming sh*t pile suck fest that I thought could never be topped. Little did I know that some idiot would give Duffy their money and hand him another chance to suck and blow all over again. This review is dead on and had me laughing my ass off.

    The one positive about this film is that it makes it absolutely clear that there’s no talent in Duffy. There’s a world of sh*t talking, over the top violence, lots of sexist and racist BS that is the same self-righteous, self-indulgent fu*ktard logic of every single Tarantino wanna be uses, but talent? No – case closed. No Boondock Saints Part III straight to DVD for the world to endure because part II has ensured that this no talent f*ck will slide quietly into oblivion. So put the camera away Duffy, get a janitor’s uniform and grab hold of a broom. It’s time for the rest of your life to start.

  • mon

    “It’s still a foickin’ piece of shite, though.”

    I would say FECKIN is a bit more Irish. And even if the thing is a piece of shit I dont think it gives u permission to take a mikey from Irish.
    And the review was the biggest load of bollix i have ever seen in me life. Thanks god bless:D

  • Muzz

    John Doman (not wishing to be too formal but there might be other John’s floating round) I’m not angry, really. Firstly ‘fascist’ is a pretty common epithet for vigilantism and thuggery of all kinds, mostly in Europe I think. It’s not because it describes a political structure but because of the mentality necessary to follow it through. The willingness to go outside the law and due process and “do what it takes” is exactly the kind of attitude that’d take someone far in the brown shirts. Vigilantism is tacitly “Might makes Right”. Few casual vigilantism fans want to admit this.
    It’s perhaps debatable and imprecise terminology, but common all the same.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve seen BDS 1, but as a pretty high consumer of second rate action films and thrillers in my youth I can take or leave the political implications of most of them. They are escapist silliness, or exploitational nonsense designed to provide a bit of gun porn. That’s how I found out about BDS1. A woman recommended it as a better than average silly video night stuffer.
    Unlike most similer fare however, BDS1 did manage to convice me through all the silliness and really cheap jokes, that whoever made it does actually really believe this stuff.
    I can’t remember precisely why as it’s been too long. But carrying that 11pm bar room nonsense conversation on “We know what’s wrong with this town, but no one, no Man, is willing to just get out there and shoot it” out into the cold sober light of day and making a film out of it is back-away-slowly material.

    Subjective, its true. Plenty of people I’ve known didn’t catch that aspect at all or managed to ignore it, but there it is. I do remember some hairy asshole, who takes up an inordinate amount of screen time because he’s supposed to be funny I guess (but isn’t. Not even the hero either. Sort of presaging Jar Jar Binks), shooting a cat by mistake and then justifying it by saying the owner was a drug user (which that character was recently as well, from memory). Prior to that I think I was more ambivalent about the film’s message, if it had one. At that point it was plain to me we had a true believing reactionary jerk at the helm.

    As for some vox pop-ing at the end; lip service dude. Is there any doubt at that point who the heroes are? It’s more about them being famous and garnering mixed opinions than anything else. I recall some noirish “If we head down this road all the way what if we become the monsters?!” type stuff in there towards the end but it was pretty half hearted. YMMV

    You’re probably thinking I’ve put a fair bit of thought into this one way or another. And that part’s true because, as you say it’s got a word-of-mouth-y quality to it. It was discussed and disagreed about at length back in the day and that is kinda curious, it’s true.
    I think if Mary Ann spent a lot of time theorising about its cultish popularity though, she’d probably get even more stick for straying from the reviewer job description so many are convinced exists.
    A lot of films get a cult following too, some of them even action films. I think Steven Segal owes his whole career prior to (and following) Under Siege to the fact. Boondock Saints is surely the Blind Fury of its day with teenage males. Why are we supposed to look so much harder here? Are we supposed to think there’s more to it? Duffy himself reinforced its “message” as I saw it when trying to get money for II (and geez I wish he didn’t have the same name as a rather good singer). He was saying how obviously the following is strong because the fans ‘get it’, get the substance of it, and he wasn’t talking about silly jokes or action sequences when he said that. I don’t think that’s why it gets any good reception with people and it’s hard to believe a word the guy says anymore but it’s slightly creepy if he thinks that though.

  • Muzz

    Dear lord, it’s huge!
    Sorry about that.

  • doa766

    not to defend some of the comments here but I do believe that MaryAnn has trouble seeing movies beyond her point of view, which is what critics should be able to do

    only very few people can admit that even if they did not liked a particular movie at all it might deliver perfectly well for the intended audience and therefore be a good movie

    I saw The Edge of Love last night and did not like it but I don’t say it’s a bad movie, it’s a good movie just that it’s not for me (I only saw it to see if Keira Knightly has the pipes to play Eliza Dolittle and she doesn’t)

    even on a site like this one where readers are well aware of the writer’s background, she still should able to distinguish between movies that fail to connect even with the target audience and movies that can only be enjoyed by a particular sub group of movie goers

    some will say that they can not put themselves on in the mind of the target audience of movie like this one or Antichrist for example and therefore can only say if the movie is good or bad for them, those people should NOT be film critics

  • Peter

    Sigh…where to begin?

    1. Since when do you, Aaron, decide who a movie is “made for?”

    Well, Neil, you’re right. Aaron doesn’t have a right to say who a movie is made for….but I believe that the writer and director does. Troy Duffy has specifically said that this is service to the loyal fans of the original film and that if you didn’t like that movie then this movie was not for you.

  • MaryAnn

    even on a site like this one where readers are well aware of the writer’s background, she still should able to distinguish between movies that fail to connect even with the target audience and movies that can only be enjoyed by a particular sub group of movie goers

    Okay, how’s this: “*The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day* should be readily enjoyed by those who are half brain dead, find violence sexually arousing, believe that vigilante justice is the only true justice to be had, and believe that the notion that men might be sensitive, emotional creatures is an evil plot of feminazis looking to take over the planet; don’t need anything like a coherent story or intriguing characters to enjoy a film; and those who are actually suckered in by flashy style over provocative substance. Or by anyone who likes to pretend these things apply to them, for whatever reason.”

    That work for ya?

    Actually, I figured that was the subtext of the review itself as written, but perhaps it’s too much to assume that that could be gleaned by people who think this is, in fact, a good movie.

  • ManicAsh

    even on a site like this one where readers are well aware of the writer’s background, she still should able to distinguish between movies that fail to connect even with the target audience and movies that can only be enjoyed by a particular sub group of movie goers

    only very few people can admit that even if they did not liked a particular movie at all it might deliver perfectly well for the intended audience and therefore be a good movie

    Have you read any other review on this website besides this review? My opinion from what I have read is that she seems very good at being able to make a distinction between films that would be good for the intended audience from films that just are not good for anyone. And I don’t think that anyone is making you read this review.

    Aaron – are you a film critic? No? I don’t believe it’s that easy of a job and I don’t understand people who feel the need to unfairly criticize the critic if you simply do not agree with what she/he has written. It is especially unfair and offensive when there are subtle sexist remarks mixed into your ‘criticism’.

    Between the Michael Jackson fans and the Troy Duffy devotees, it should prove to be an interesting weekend around here…

    Haha! I guess the Duffy fans are even more loyal than MJ fans? This part made me laugh out loud when I read it.

  • doa766

    that was my point, everything that is not to your taste is bad, and if you like it then it’s because there’s something wrong with you (half brained, superficial, misogynistic, etc)

    couldn’t there be people who from time to time enjoy a break from smart, deep, emotional movies and relax watching something that doesn’t require active thinking and just gives them some flashy action scenes and some girls/guys half dressed without making them half brained, superficial and misogynistic?

    also you don’t need to agree with a movie’s message to like it, the vigilante justice on Boondock Saints is not that different from most superheroes movies which usually get good reviews from you, just more explicit

    the movies you enjoy DO NOT represent what you’re like, does the concept of escapism ring any bells?

  • doa766

    I’m not saying that this is a movie worth defending but I do think that most of the problems on the world have their root on the inability that most people have to see beyond their point of view and be concerned for anyone’s interests but their own

    instead of considering for a second that what it’s not right for one self could possibly be right for someone else without being anything wrong with them, most people would automatically discriminate the one likes what they don’t and think that they wrong and their sick to like it

    I wouldn’t complained about this on any site because it’s not something that I would expect most people to understand but surely someone who “who drinks too much wine and thinks way too much about such inconsequences as movies, TV, books, and the meaning of life” should be aware of it

    guess I was wrong, a person who gave a positive review to the first Transformers movie thinks that if you enjoy half brained movies then you’re half brained

    talk about irony

  • Eric

    I don’t know who MaryAnn Johanson is or what her writing credentials are. I’m only here because one phrase of hers first seen on Rottentomatoes piqued my interest:

    …I found it riotously awful and simultaneously vile, this orgy of sexualize [sic] violence with no point except to give itself something to jerk off to…

    This was one of the funniest movie reviews I’ve ever read.

    I never lost my boner reading MaryAnn’s words, yet I’d still not mind terribly much if the author were to write…more…slowly…

    Consider me a new fan. :)

  • MaryAnn

    Thanks for pointing out the typo, Eric — I fixed it.

    that was my point, everything that is not to your taste is bad, and if you like it then it’s because there’s something wrong with you (half brained, superficial, misogynistic, etc)

    doa766, if you believe that every film has inherent value, then you’re saying that there’s no point in film cricitism. Clearly, I disagree with that.

    If you insist on believing that criticism is merely a matter of taste, then you can see that I’ve made it perfectly plain through the thousands of reviews I’ve written here that I’ve found all kinds of movies worthy of praise… including many very violent ones. So perhaps you could choose to take from this review that this very violent movie doesn’t do a very good job at merely being very violent.

  • John

    This is one of those reviews that makes me not like film critics in the way I dislike partisan politics. Before you even talk about the plot in any way you dismiss the movie as a joke. You give me nothing to think that you may be fair in your judgment and trash the movie from the get go like you are on a mission. The way to do it is to be even handed first THEN say the movie is awful and list why. Then I might believe your opinion is valid. Did Troy Duffy insult your family or something? You just seem bitter.

    This may be an awful movie and I would not be surprised but this review does nothing to tell me about what to expect. Are the characters interesting? It would be nice to get a comparison to the genius in the first movie of Willem Dafoe’s Paul Smecker to anyone in this movie like Julie Benz’s Eunice Bloom. How about the story? From what little I know of this movie you did not mention any of the revenge story of Judd Nelson’s character. Does the plot seem to follow logically or are the gun battles thrown in out of nowhere? Is the movie shot well?

    My guess is you did not “get” the first movie like many other people did even if you saw it. I am sure you will dismiss that to the depravity of society’s youth and be ever so confident that you know better. Oh well. I tried.

  • tim bradley

    So, I liked BDS1, and I like BDS2. I’m a fan, and I throughly enjoyed this movie. And just so you know, the production company, the actors, Troy Duffy, and everyone who worked on the film made the film for us, The Fans. So, look at it through this perspective, this POS wasn’t MADE for you! THAT’s why you didn’t enjoy it! Feel excluded, because all us fans are loving this movie, and sad, angry pathetic little You aren’t. So suck my pathetic little dick. I’m dipping my nuts in marinara sauce, so you can get a taste of your own medicine.

  • Jurgan

    Stay classy there, Tim.

  • Lucy Gillam

    Yes, because threats of sexual violence in defense of the film really go a long way to disproving criticisms about the sexualized violence and general views of masculinity.

    Nor was it remotely fucking predictable.

  • Okay, how’s this: “*The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day* should be readily enjoyed by those who are half brain dead, find violence sexually arousing, believe that vigilante justice is the only true justice to be had, and believe that the notion that men might be sensitive, emotional creatures is an evil plot of feminazis looking to take over the planet; don’t need anything like a coherent story or intriguing characters to enjoy a film; and those who are actually suckered in by flashy style over provocative substance. Or by anyone who likes to pretend these things apply to them, for whatever reason.”

    After reading that, I want to see it now! Sweet!

  • So suck my pathetic little dick. I’m dipping my nuts in marinara sauce, so you can get a taste of your own medicine.

    I was literally in tears after reading that.

  • MaryAnn

    Feel excluded, because all us fans are loving this movie, and sad, angry pathetic little You aren’t. So suck my pathetic little dick. I’m dipping my nuts in marinara sauce, so you can get a taste of your own medicine.

    Thanks for proving my points, tim bradley.

  • Neil

    Feel excluded, because all us fans are loving this movie, and sad, angry pathetic little You aren’t. So suck my pathetic little dick.

    (Adopting Happy Gilmore voice/tone of voice after Shooter McGavin informs him “I eat balls of shit like you for breakfast”:)

    You have a pathetic little dick?

  • ManicAsh

    …marinara sauce?

  • dave

    This review seemed fairly poor, even if the movie sounds skippable. The author seems hung up on sexual bitterness in almost a Freudian way, even though this movie (I’m guessing) is mostly devoid of sexuality. Usually a spade is just a spade. Phallic symbols? That craze died in the 70’s. The reviewer also seems to think it’s bad because it’s violent. If violence isn’t your thing, don’t bother with the film, but keep to reviewing things we can all agree are bad (like bad plot or bad acting, bad dialogue, bad editing) rather than just complain about blood because you’re squeamish.

  • I haven’t seen the sequel, but I have seen the original and I’m fascinated that you hate this so much while at the same time you heaped praise on a movie very similar in theme–“Hard Candy.” I just saw Hard Candy for the first time this weekend, and it was just as unapologetic in its endorsement of violence, torture, and vigilantism. Instead of swiping action movie tropes, it swiped arthouse tropes, but otherwise there wasn’t a lot of thematic difference between the two. Why did you like one so much and the other not at all? I’m just curious.

  • Jason

    I have to say that in the review I read by Maryann, I did have a feeling that she has an issue with Troy. His films are not for everyone! Kind of like Tarentino, it need to be looked at in a different way. I usually like to make up my own mind because most critics review an action film like they would a drama, can’t compare apples and oranges. I may also add that most critics are in their profession because they could not cut it in the film industry in any other way. Take it all with a grain of salt and see the movie for yourself!!

    Jason

  • Rachel

    Sorry, Jason, I have a lot of fondness for the original (though it’s not a good film by any stretch of the imagination), and I have no issue with Duffy beyond his movie-making skills as evidenced by the sequel, and I think Maryann was right on the money. Boondock II was an embarrassment–it’s going to flop and disappear, and very rightfully so.

  • Grygus

    Ha ha ha you tell us to go see Ong Bak 2 and two days later you hate action movies and shouldn’t review them. I love the Internet.

  • CB

    For example, if a new John Carpenter film came out tomorrow and Maryann gave it the dreaded red light, and bashed it even worse than she did this one, I’d still go and see it, because I’m a huge Carpenter fan; he gets a pass from me simply based on The Thing. BUT – if it were a total piece-of-shit movie, hardcore Carpenter fan or not, I’d be the first to say “man, he really dropped the ball on this one.”

    JC had a pass from me thanks to the incredible The Thing, but he used it up on Escape From LA, because not only was it a bad movie, it retro-actively ruined Escape from New York. The basic message of LA seems to be “Escape from New York was a pretty silly movie, wasn’t it?” And damned if that message didn’t hit home. Okay maybe I never should have taken NY seriously, but it seemed to take itself seriously, and I wasn’t able to make the transition to enjoying it for camp factor. But hey, I can still like his movies. Ghosts of Mars was a decent if nihilistic movie.

    Oh what this isn’t a review of a John Carpenter movie? Huh, okay. Well I like a good action flick that doesn’t ask a lot of me, but this movie just sounds like crap. I mean could one of the fans please tell me if the entire thing is an attempt at straight-faced irony? Maybe then I could see how it would be possible for me to enjoy the movie. Otherwise, I like my mindless action to be mindless, not mindless but pretending to have a point. Go watch Commando to see how it’s done — action with no point except “Don’t fuck with Arnold’s family”.

    P.S. Where’s that guy always complaining about anti-male bias in film? Here’s MaryAnn decrying gratuitous male nudity! See it does work both ways! Heh.

  • CB

    Ha ha ha you tell us to go see Ong Bak 2 and two days later you hate action movies and shouldn’t review them. I love the Internet.

    Yep, it’s hilarious what people will assume after reading one review that doesn’t agree with them.

    One thing I look for in a critic is someone who likes the same kinds of movies I do, but is willing to call crap crap. That’s one MAJ is one of the ones I read. :)

  • Jurgan

    I think the best response to the “this movie just isn’t for you” people is Maryann’s review of Inglourious Basterds. I’m sure that movie was every bit as violent as BDSII, but more to the point she explicitly says that she would not approve of the heroes’ actions in real life. She enjoyed it as escapist fare and was able to set aside any implications it might have for the real world, at least temporarily. Clearly the genre is not the issue.

  • D

    True but this review was poorly written and not informative, half of it seems on topic about the movie, the other half seems like a rant against men not showing emotions and acting tough(as if the reviewer is just venting some personal frustration against men in general or she had a bad breakup). Regardless we dont care about that. Also complaining that movies having icky blood in them or violence. I think with a movie like this I dont see why someone would go to see it to watch people express emotions, leave that up to Oscar-winning actors in art films and oscar bait dramas, not popcorn action flicks

  • Lucy Gillam

    Regardless we dont care about that

    We, who? I personally have had a bellyfull of the Struggle of the Real Man, so oppressed by a society that expects him to, I dunno, feel things and not find rape funny. The movie’s defenders keep saying that the movie was for viewers like MAJ. Well, maybe her review wasn’t for you. Maybe it was for viewers like me.

  • CB

    True but this review was poorly written and not informative, half of it seems on topic about the movie, the other half seems like a rant against men not showing emotions and acting tough(as if the reviewer is just venting some personal frustration against men in general or she had a bad breakup).

    Funny, because it told me a lot. Like for example that this movie is not an attempt at mindless action, it quite thoroughly attempts to have a mind but ends up being even more mindless for it. That spells lose to me. It’s one thing to have as a basic assumption the stoic emotionless Action Guy stereotype, it’s another to actually spell that out for the audience like its a reality with a straight face.

    You want to know what one of the greatest action movies of all time is? First Blood. Why? Because while you won’t find a tougher hombre on earth than John Rambo, he was a real character with emotions and everything. Cus that’s reality. Hell now that I think about it, even Aliens had Space Marines with actual human emotion. Spouting philosophical nonsense while pretending that isn’t true? LOL. I’ll pass and watch Commando again.

    Also complaining that movies having icky blood in them or violence.

    Seriously you’re off your rocker if you think the complaint is about the mere existence of violence in the movie. Or rather… maybe it is about the “mere” existence.

  • DevilDog

    Whats the difference between this review and a bucket of shite? The bucket.

    Like all reviews of BDS2 its completely anti-Troy Duffy. This is all blowback from the Miramax incident.

    Besides, who even listens to reviewers anymore? They are just like weathermen and cannot predict shite.

    Who really makes films succeed? Fans. Where would Star Trek, Star Wars, James Bond, Harry Potter, LOTR, and other series be without fan?

    What a frellin’ frakhole!

  • Jurgan

    “Where would Star Trek, Star Wars, James Bond, Harry Potter, LOTR, and other series be without fan?”

    Funny that every one of those movies are ones Maryann has praised to no end (except maybe James Bond- only the more recent ones, there).

  • CB

    Like all reviews of BDS2 its completely anti-Troy Duffy. This is all blowback from the Miramax incident.

    Besides, who even listens to reviewers anymore? They are just like weathermen and cannot predict shite.

    I assume then that you’re pro-Troy? I’m pro-good movies, anti-crap movies. If the pro-good movie people always seem to be against your man, maybe that’s a clue?

    FYI, posts like yours do a much better job of predicting the quality of the movie for me, it’s true. So, thanks for saving me $10. :)

    Who really makes films succeed? Fans. Where would Star Trek, Star Wars, James Bond, Harry Potter, LOTR, and other series be without fan?

    Are you kidding? For one, nearly all those examples had broad-based almost universal appeal not to mention a positive reception from critics. LOTR didn’t succeed because of fans, it succeeded because of all the non-fans who were able to watch and enjoy material they were being exposed to for the first time. Because those movies were good even to non-fans.

    And the primary counter-example, Star Trek, was held back by its fans for years. It was the fans who demanded that every piece of continuity be maintained. It was the fans who went to see even the crappiest Star Trek movie multiple times, preventing Joel Schumacher from losing his job sooner. And then, when they finally gave the reigns to someone else with the mandate to make a good Trek movie, it was the fans who bitched and moaned because the makers had done the unthinkable and abandoned (kinda) the thirty years of continuity that was weighing the series down! How dare they! Of course they went to go see it anyway, but it wasn’t the fans who made the new Star Trek a record-setter. No, that was everyone else who via word of mouth and yes review by critics learned that this was actually a good Star Trek movie. Like, one non-fans could enjoy.

    When the only people who can enjoy your movie are those who are already predisposed to like it regardless of its particular merits, that’s a bad movie and a recipe for failure. Of course I don’t know the financials for this movie, and I understand the first one was made on a very small budget, so hey maybe it’ll scrape by and be a success by that one metric. Which is cool for you; I’ll leave you to it. :)

  • bored

    I’d suggest mary ann start writing wine reviews. This movie is crap (entertaining crap, but still crap), but this review is one of the sorriest things I’ve read in a while. How many dick jokes can you fit in one review? Seriously, I’d feel less awkward reading the kama sutra with my grandmother then discussing this review with her. I really wish I could get my 30 seconds back from stumbleupon after enduring that. The comments were at least a laugh. If mr cookie dough hadn’t shown up, this whole page would be nothing more then people sucking your clit mary, so maybe you aren’t that different from Duffy after all. In case you need me to explain my metaphor (which I wouldn’t doubt), you both like having your fans suck you off.

  • Jurgan

    In all seriousness, I really wonder about people who have to insert sexual metaphors into every insult. The fact that the critic who’s being insulted complained about overly sexualized violence in this movie is particularly telling.

  • April

    Because, you see, this is what being a real man is all about. Real men eat red meat. Real men joke about rape. Real men don’t talk about their feelings, they express their emotion via guns.

    Well she finally got it….*snort*

  • April

    Because, you see, this is what being a real man is all about. Real men eat red meat. Real men joke about rape. Real men don’t talk about their feelings, they express their emotion via guns.

    There you see that wasn’t so hard to figure out. Oh yes and don’t forget that real men do not cry either. *wait they did in the first one*

    A “die hard fan of BDS” and a woman too….woa.

  • Wow. Between this and MJ, the comment sections of your reviews are extra-trainwrecky this week. Got a bad religious movie you can bash for the triumverate? >B)

  • thefourthmonth

    I saw this movie last night as a huge fan of the original and a Massachusetts native living in New York. In my opinion as a simple appreciator of cinema, both high and low brow, I think nearly everything MaryAnn said was accurate. It was over the top and in your face, the characters becoming caracatures of themselves in comparison to the original. It bordered on spoofing BDS and I find it hard to come up with a better way to say it other than that the director was doing his best to visually “fellate” the audience.

    That being said. Consider me satisfied. I really don’t care if it was intelligent or if you could use the plot to strain the water of overdone pasta. It made me laugh, it indulged my overdeveloped love of slow motion shoot em up sequences, and let me see characters I enjoyed in the original use their ridiculous Irish accents to woo me into loving them once again. Would I consider this a “good” movie? Nope. Did I love it? Absolutely. It entertained me from beginning to end. Mission accomplished.

  • Joseph

    I really wanted to like this movie, but it’s just so absurd. The plot is mostly a rehashing of the first one, the repetitive action scenes, the forced jokes, the trying to hard to be “cool”, it was all just too much. And the acting LOL oh man, the acting. I loooooove the first movie, but this one. Let’s just say I was checking my watch quite a bit. Anyways, a good review by Miss Johanson (though not necessarily from a viewpoint I would take, but I respect her views nonetheless and understand them). The movie is definitely a piece of shite.

  • Jolted

    I’ve really enjoyed reading all of this, and I do mean all of it, from the original review, to the sudden response, to all the in between, there are some great writers around here. That said, I hope none of you are really angry at each other, I mean, we can have a world where fake Irish and gratuitous nudity equals bad film, AND a world where the same naked boys make me want to go see said film, right now…can’t we?

    I don’t know why I loved the first film, well, I have theories, but I do know my interest in seeing the second hasn’t waned, despite the malicious press reception.

    A side note, MaryAnn, as someone who once, supposing gallantry or bravery, used the words “intellectual masturbation” in a serious Grad course essay, I must submit my humble admiration to you for using what seems to have been the best metaphor for the scene.

    May the brothers prove you wrong in my mind, I’ll still love reading this site.

  • Knightgee

    I think it’s quite telling that so many of the supporters of the movie have felt that the best way to stick up for the film’s merits were not to discuss why the reviewer was wrong through intelligent discourse, but to engage in crass and overtly sexist remarks based on the reviewers gender and a brief blurb under her picture. Because the best way to prove that you aren’t a bunch of raving idiots getting off on stylized blood and gore is to resort to sexism and threats of sexual violence, right? I had no opinion on either film one way or the other, but I’m thoroughly disgusted with it already simply from seeing the kind of contempt it’s fan base is filled with.

  • Nick

    There’s little point in trying to argue the movie’s merits to someone who has written it off as thoroughly has MaryAnn. Moreso because her reasoning is painfully specious, in that she actually claims the movie takes itself seriously. It really didn’t, and in homaging its ancestor and catering to the fans of the original, it doesn’t just break the fourth wall; it drunkenly staggers through it with a half-empty bottle of Bushmills held high.

    The scene where the brothers debate why they cut off their hair and made themselves look just like they did when they got their faces plastered on wanted posters ten years ago should have made this obvious. As should a half dozen similarly self-aware scenes. Not to mention that dream scene with the rant/rap about manliness on a skating rink should have been a dead giveaway. This is not a serious movie; the serious undertones of the first have been allowed to fade in favor of humor, and while the movie is a bit less for this, it works for what the writers intended.

    The other problem is that MaryAnn is unwilling to countenance the idea that gay jokes, racist jokes, and the extensive use of assrape as a descriptor for ‘something bad that has or will happen to us’ are all funny. From skimming a number of other reviews, this is a common fault among critics. Here’s a hint: those of us laughing are willing to accept cruel, hurtful humor as being funny regardless of who gets thrown under the bus. Judging by the audience response in the theatre, we’re not alone in this. This is something MaryAnn should consider incorporating in her understanding of what makes movies like this appealing, rather than painting it with the brush of her personal distaste.

  • Stephen

    That has to be the most hilarious review I have ever had the pleasure to read. My new favorite critic.

  • Stephen

    and here I am still laughing.

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