Saturday, May 18, 2013

Guest Review: "Boondock Saints"

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Irish-Catholic Americans could be offended by this movie.

The twins, Connor and Murphy MacManus, attend Mass celebrating Saint Patrick's Day. Next, they celebrate with alcoholic spirits at the neighborhood pub. At the pub, Murphy and Connor end up defending their favorite bar and bar owner from three Russian gangsters. Two of the attackers end up being killed the next morning while the brothers are defending themselves.

FBI agent Paul Smecker, played by Willem Dafoe, determines that the Russians' deaths were not a professional hit. In the meantime, the brothers turn themselves in at the local police station and are hailed as heroes by reporters. Connor and Murphy decide to avoid further media attention by camping out in a jail cell overnight. While in jail, the brothers have a holy visitation. God tells them to hunt down wicked men so the just can thrive. Presumably, God will direct them to those who must receive divine retribution. And we thought being cast into hell was the province of God and angels.

Connor learns there is to be a meeting of Russian syndicate bosses at a Boston hotel; he gets this information from a pager recovered from one of the dead Russians. The brothers recite their family prayer and kill each mobster. They place coins on the Russians' cold dead eyes, presumably to pay their toll to cross the River Styx. The twins' friend and mob errand boy Rocco joins them in their mission after finding out that the mobster he is so loyal to has been using him.

Next, Connor, Murphy, and Rocco hunt down Vincenzo Rapazzi of the Yakavetta crime scene. "Papa Joe" Yakavetta is the mob boss Rocco works for; his henchman Vincenzo played a big role in Rocco's betrayal. After more killings, Papa Joe contacts a hitman known only as Il Duce to kill the vigilantes.

Murphy, Connor, and Rocco are eventually caught breaking into Papa Joe's house. The three are locked in the basement. Papa Joe shoots and kills Rocco. The brothers escape their chains and say the family prayer over Rocco's body. Their backs are to Il Duce, who recites the prayer with the brothers, and it becomes clear that the twins are Il Duce's sons. Dear old Da joins the boys on their mission to eradicate wrongdoers. Agent Smecker has become the twins' ally because he's come to understand their calling. The MacManus family boldly kills Papa Joe in the courtroom during his trial.

The Boston media dubs the three "The Saints." We as the audience are left to ponder this question: Were The Saints ultimately good or evil?