The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day -- Film Review

Troy Duffy, director of the Quentin Tarantino-tinted "Boondock Saints" -- and the rise-and-fall subject of the arguably more entertaining 2003 documentary "Overnight" -- returns to the scene of his 1999 debut with "The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day."

If Duffy's decade away has proved to be a humbling experience, you wouldn't know it from this bloated follow-up, which tonally goes all over the place, but its primary direction is over the top.
Although the Tarantino influence still is tangible, this time around Duffy reveals himself to also be a big Francis Ford Coppola fan, but the cartoonish end result plays like "Godfather III" meets the Three Stooges.

Although his first film, which admittedly still had a scrappy energy all of its own, became a cult hit on DVD, it unlikely will give much of a boost to this Apparition release (in tandem with Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisition Group) until the Saints go marching back into the video store.

Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus return as the avenging religious MacManus twins, who have gone into hiding at Dad Billy Connolly's Irish sheep farm after their previous crime lord-executing escapades.

But they find themselves back in Boston (played by the mean streets of Toronto) with their revolvers and rosaries when a priest is murdered in a manner that makes them look like the culprits.

Determined to make the real perpetrators pay, the MacManus boys again blast their way to justice with assistance this time from a sensitive Latino (Clifton Collins Jr.) and a Southern-accented FBI agent-gone-rogue (Julie Benz).

Filled again with the kind of dialogue that sounds like it escaped from a comic-strip speech bubble, "Boondock" might have worked as a B-movie guilty pleasure, especially if it had been half-hour shorter, but it's clear writer-director Duffy had far loftier ambitions on the agenda.

By the time Peter Fonda makes a final-act appearance channeling, apparently, Marlon Brando's Don Corleone, the movie already has collapsed under the weight of all of Duffy's operatic excess.

At least Miroslaw's Baszak's cinematography contributes a nice visual punch, and the actors, especially Collins, seem to be enjoying themselves even if it's tough to share the enthusiasm.

Opens: Friday, Oct. 30 (Apparition)
Rated R, 117 minutes