There are few films that I would walk out of in a theater.
Usually, I will suffer through inane dialogue, preposterous plotting and glacier-like pacing, thinking that maybe the film will somehow redeem itself.
But I can assuredly say that if I hadn't been with friends, I would have left during " The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day" (it had a limited theatrical release earlier this year in Wichita and comes out March 9 on DVD).
I did not enjoy this film. It was as pleasant as having my spleen ripped out while standing on broken glass and chewing shards of metal. I would rather do any of that than see this film again.
The movie takes itself so seriously that it essentially becomes a parody of itself. And it's so over-the-top macho, I think I actually spit up testosterone.
I liked the original well enough, but was surprised that it was as good as it was. I saw it mainly because I first saw the blistering, intriguing documentary " Overnight," which chronicled the rags- to-riches-to-rags story of "Boondock" writer/director Troy Duffy. In what's been called a Hollywood Cinderella story, Duffy was a Los Angeles bartender who it hit big when Miramax bought his "Boondock" script for $300,000.
But he was an abrasive, egomaniacal jerk, and burned so many bridges in Hollywood that it was amazing his original "Boondock Saints" ever got made. It did, after a tumultuous production process, and when it finally had its limited release in 1999, it received poor reviews and disappeared quickly.
The story follows Boston-based Irish Catholic fraternal twin brothers Conner (Sean Patrick Flanery) and Murphy (Norman Reedus) who become vigilantes after killing two members of the Russian mafia in self-defense. They then decide to rid Boston of all crime, in their own violent, jump-cutty, slow-motion, firing-guns-while-sliding-on-their-knees way.
When the film was released on home video, word of mouth eventually elevated the crime saga to cult status (I still don't understand why). Astoundingly, it went on to make more than $50 million in domestic video sales.
That had to be the sole reason to make a sequel — to cash in on the original's popularity — because Duffy obviously had nothing else to say.
You'd think, in the 10 years since the original came out, that he would have had time to write a good script. But, no. The sequel is pretty much an uninspired, sloppy remake of the original, drunk on its now-dated rip-off of the Tarantino cinematic style.
"Saints II" is filled with racial slurs, gay bashing, gay panic, steroidal posturing and idiotic dialogue. And, though Duffy would probably like this, it's as subtle as a nun in a strip bar. That this film says it's OK to be all these things is the real offense.
But while "Saints II" is wholly irresponsible in its "you're either-this-or-I-beat-you-up" attitude, it's also a perfect example of what NOT to do in filmmaking.
For example, never:
* Be cliched. The title alone almost seems like a send-up of itself. It's just as good as Kevin Smith's jab of "Good Will Hunting II: Hunting Season."
* Be corny. This is actually a quote from the movie: "I am so smart, I make smart people feel like they are retarded."
* Be stereotypical. Apparently, all Mexicans drive souped-up cars, real men have tattoos and hide their feelings (other than rage), and all women — especially hot detectives — secretly want to have sex with all men. It's a given.
* Be pointless. There was no reason whatsoever for "Boondock Saints II."
It was the longest three years I've spent during a two-hour movie.