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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Holy War

The Boondock Saints on IMDb

Plot Overview

leprechaunWhen three Russian mobsters try to close McGinty's Bar in South Boston on Saint Patrick's Day a week ahead of schedule, they find them­selves out­numbered by an uncooperative clientele and get the worse of it in a bar fight. Irish-American brothers-german Connor (Sean Patrick Flanery) & Murphy MacManus (Norman Reedus) occupying the high ground thwart their attempted revenge the next day. Hot shot, gay FBI agent Paul Smecker (Willem Dafoe) figures it for self-defense and the Micks become champs. Following an incoming text on one of the goombah's pagers, they interdict a meeting of upper echelon wise­guys in the Copley Plaza Hotel wasting every man jack of them in the Presidential Suite. Sent there as a sop, Wop Roc (David Della Rocco) finds his suicidal job done for him, but he's obviously making no head­way in the Italian mob hierarchy, so he joins the two brothers to exact vigilante justice on: “Mafiosos and not just … mob guys, but rapists, and murderers and child molesters … pimps and drug dealers and all that sh!t.” They spare the innocent and women and children and even a suspicious cop or two (“He isn't to be touched”), some of whom are on their side (“He's a good man”) as is a hectored priest (“The laws of God are greater than the laws of man”) but not a black judge who gets put in his place (“Go to the back.”) Media man-on-the-street inter­views play with the scrolling credits, offering diverse opinions.


hand crank ice cream makerHere “Russian syndicates have started a gang war” with a humble beginning à la, (Prov. 30:33) “Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.” A constant aggravation over time can change a state of peace to one of war, as can an irritation to a critical area.

tea time“Funny Man” Rocco sends us up with a joke adaptable to the milk-churned-into-butter simile in the proverb. A little girl is playing with her tea set all day long and then turns her attention to the lamp in the corner. As she rubs it, out pops a genie who grants her wish of a drink of the real thing. In Boston “decent men with loving families, they go home every day after work and they turn on the news. … They see rapists, and murderers and child molesters. They're all getting out of prison. ¶“Mafiosos. Gettin' caught with twenty kilos. Gettin' out on bail the same effing day.” Into this travesty waltzes the Russian mob trying to shake down a neighbor­hood Irish pub on Saint Paddy's day, no less. It has finally got to be too much for John Q. Public, and there's a fundamental change of attitude towards “all the low­lifes in Boston.” Now it's, “Kill 'em all.”

groceries and catThe simile in the movie corresponding to wringing the nose to get blood occurs at Rocco's run­down apartment where an accidental discharge of his pistol wouldn't do much damage except it splattered the cat all over the wall, much to the chagrin of his girl­friend Donna who walks in later looking for her “beloved Skippy.” Funny man Rocco “thought it would bring closure to our relation­ship.” Right. Rocco has been a loyal runner for the Italian mob for eighteen years now, suffering in silence all their abuse, and finally they give him a chance to make his bones. They send him with a six shooter to a meeting of supposedly a couple of competitor gang­bangers … but there's nine of them. Sure, given his opportunity Rocco will do some damage, but he's not expected to survive. After­ward when he does the math, it brings closure to their relationship.

Production Values

” (1999) was written and directed by Troy Duffy. It stars Willem Dafoe, Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus. Dafoe as FBI is a sensation the way he hams it up, but gay jokes are getting old by now. Flanery and Reedus are both generic Irishmen, which is fitting for Saint Patrick's Day but not for Oscar night. It was, how­ever, quite a mix of competent character acting.

MPAA rated it R for strong violence, language and sexual content. Flash­backs are handily employed to keep us on our toes. The violence strays some­what from realism but is much fun to watch. This film bombed in theaters but became a cult classic in the rental market.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

Church serviceThis movie was partly filmed in a Lutheran church that was a stand-in for Catholic, none of the latter caring to be associated with the film. There's good reason for that, but objections are adequately covered in public commentary at the end. It's fun to watch if you're into holy mayhem.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Saint Paddy's Day fare. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.