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Review The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (2009): Slightly better than the original but still very much flawed as an action film!

genre: action, crime, thriller

This sequel builds on what was set up in the original and expands the lore. While it's not always as logical and clever I appreciated the ambition of writer / director / actor Troy Duffy to broaden the myth of the Saints and their vigilantism.

I also thought the film was far funnier. There are actual scenes that made me laugh. One features late Rocco with an epic speech to lift the spirits of the Saints who are down. I am not sure why Julie Benz as the obvious replacement of Willem Dafoe was put in but I read that he was booked up and not available. Benz did an admirable job I guess but she can't make you forget about Dafoe. His absence can be felt. But he is not entirely forgotten and that is the last thing I will say about him. I wasn't that sold on the inclusion of Clifton Collins Jr. I don't think they needed another Rocco type to aid the brothers. I would have preferred Rocco's long lost twin brother as they did with Chow Yun-Fat in A Better Tomorrow II. That would have been a nice nod and very funny. It was nice to see Judd Nelson but isn't really given a chance to make an impact.

As for the action sequences. You can tell they had more money to spend on them. The choreography is a little better and most of them look more stylish. However like the original it never feels like there is something at stake. The brothers always manage to walk away unharmed. And think about it. How is that even possible? Other people get killed. Nobody is wearing bulletproof vests or are taking cover. The brothers just stand there like easy targets and yet no one lands even a single bullet? Come on. That's just insane. One could argue that god himself has grant them temporary invincibility every time they come to church to pray and be blessed. Actually I would like that idea and could stand behind it if it weren't for the fact that the one who started it all does get shot. Since The Boondock Saints films do pride themselves on some sense of realism I doubt that there is divine intervention at play. Action scenes like this only work if there is a real chance of the main characters getting seriously hurt or worse. John Woo knows how to do infuse this effortless. My guess is that Troy Duffy hasn't really been paying attention that much.

So yes overall slightly better than the original but still very much flawed as an action film!

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