Last night Crysta and I went out and saw Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day. It was a late night showing, so I'm a little tired now (this is also why there is no stick figure comic for today's blog post), but it was totally worth it.
I am deeply satisfied with this film.
Now, I'm a big fan of the original Boondock Saints, and it's true -- if you didn't like the first film, there is no way in the world you'll like the second one. It's also true that the sequel, like most sequels, isn't as good as the original. But if you loved the first one like I did, and want to see the MacManus brothers kick more ass...
...well, you'll probably like this film.
The reason why it's not as good as the original is the very nature of the setting. In the first film, you see the rise of the MacManus brothers as the vigilante "Saints," and the creation of a legend is always significantly more interesting than the persistence of one. In the attempt to create a larger villain for the protagonists to fight, you also lose some of the grayness of the original film.
In the first Boondock Saints, while the MacManus brothers are inherently likable, and clearly the "heroes" of the tale, their actions are portrayed in a light where it's up to the viewer to decide whether or not what they did was right. The brothers themselves appear to be questioning their choices at the end of the film (and as the sequel reveals they retreated from that life immediately after the first film). In the second film though, the villains come after them. The MacManus brothers' choice to fight isn't portrayed as gray at all - instead a righteous calling.
Mind you, that does not make the film unlikable, but it clearly does mean it loses one of the things that I found charming about the first film.
That said, I still loved the sequel. Troy Duffy may not be at his most original with this film, but the action scenes within are shot perfectly. I mean, you cannot help but love the visuals of this film. The violence is, for lack of a better word, beautiful. The acting from the extensive cast is also satisfying. Sean Patrick Flanery (who appears to have slimmed back down for the role) and Norman Reedus give spot on performances that make you remember exactly why the first film was awesome.
I know it won't be in theaters for much longer, but if you loved the first movie you need to see this film... if only for the last five minutes of it.
I won't tell you why, but trust me -- it's worth it.