The Boondock Saints is one of those movie that bombed upon its release but garnered a following over the years on home video. It’s not hard to see why. It’s a slick yet unconventional movie about vigilante. It’s funny, highly quotable, has memorable scenes and a daring performance by Willem Dafoe as a gay FBI agent who steals the show with his performance. He and Rocco are two of the most memorable and colorful characters in this movie directed by Troy Duffy, and complete the two charismatic leads.
After a bar fight two young Irish brothers find themselves harassed at their home by the guys they mangled. When they take these members of the Russian mob out they are called heroes by neighbors, friends and press. This makes them. When they get a chance to take out some Russian mob bosses they decide to go in the vigilante business and take justice into their own hands. From this point on they will be caught between gangsters and the FBI.
The Boondock Saints has a dose of that coolness a lot of movies had in the 90’s after the success of Pulp Fiction. There are the cool and colorful characters and F-word driven dialogue. And all the lead-characters have developed persona. Even the side character of Rocco who functions mostly as the comic relief has a back-story. The movie even gets away with the gay behavior of agent Paul Schmecker played by Dafoe. It even made him one of the most memorable characters among the cast. The minute he steps in and makes these little remarks, these feminine gestures, you start wondering, is he or isn’t he. That question is answered pretty early on when we see him in laying in bed with his male lover who wants to cuddle. The movie gets away with this and a lot more, simply because Dafoe is such a skilled actor he pulls this off and seems to have genuine fun in the role. Even when the role requires him to dress in drag and kiss a guy. Also one of the more memorable scenes in the movie together with Rocco’s display of the derivatives of the word “Fuck” or the saints falling down through the ceiling and shooting multiple people upside down.
The one thing that is missing is that the movie misses a cool touch that Guy Ritchie put on “Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels” or Tarantino on “Pulp Fiction”. Despite having cool camera angles and clever shots the movie could have used a dose of the kinetic montage Guy Ritchie put in “Lock, Stock…”, it would have made a rather cool movie, really cool.