In the beginning, I was confused. Confused and, if I am being honest, a little bored. Boondock Saints wasn’t my choice of movie, though I had heard for years how amazing it was, and the opening scenes didn’t excite me too much. I had no idea what was going on, and that was probably partly because I wasn’t really concentrating too much on the movie. I was more preoccupied with keeping myself warm in my icy lounge.
And then something happened. Somehow I jumped from bored to intrigued. I think it was at the point where the detective, played by Willem Dafoe, suggested that someone in the apartment building next to the first murder scene would be complaining about a leak. A leak? I thought to myself. How the hell would he know? And lo and behold, someone complained of a leak. There was more confusion, but it was of a good kind. It was the kind of confusion that leads to you wanting to know more rather than the kind that leads to you wanting to turn the movie off and go to bed.
The movie never stopped being confusing. My friend and I were constantly turning to each other, asking what was going on, hoping that the one had seen something that the other had missed. But it was also fairly enjoyable – there were moments when we were laughing so loudly that my housemate would come downstairs to see what on earth was going on. There were also moments where we (or I) hid under the covers because we knew that something gruesome was about to happen.
For those of you who have never heard of the movie, I will offer a brief explanation. It is about two religious brothers who somehow find themselves getting chased by two Russian hit men. The brothers manage to kill the hit men with a lot of luck and a little skill, hand themselves in to the police for the crime and are let off because it was clearly self-defence. They decide that their release is a sign that they are meant to be killing bad people, and go on a vigilante killing spree of various people related to the Russian and Italian mobs, with Dafoe hot on their heels.
I am not a fan of gore. I am not a fan of unnecessary violence. I am certainly not a fan of cats being shot (the one scene in the movie that I was most horrified by – forget all the men that these two brothers killed, that kitty cat did NOT deserve to die!). I think that the gore and violence that the movie revolved around is what stopped me from actually loving this movie. I did like it, however. I enjoyed it for the most part. For some reason, though there were many, many scenes that I didn’t enjoy, the movie overall was a good one.
Still, I don’t think that I am going to be finding myself rewatching Boondock Saints anytime soon. While I can admit that it was a good movie, even that I enjoyed myself during parts of it, it is not something that I can see again. I say this because I know myself – if I watched it again, I would likely be focussing more on the horrifying aspects than I would on the humorous and clever ones.
After the movie, clips were shown from interviews with people on the streets asking what they thought about the Boondock Saints and about vigilante killings in general. There were a number of responses ranging from support to disgust.
So my question for you today is this: Should people ever take justice into their own hands?