“We must all fear evil men, but there is another kind of evil which we must fear most and that is the indifference of good men.”

Within the opening scene of his directorial debut, Troy Duffy establishes the driving force for the MacManus brothers in “The Boondock Saints.”

Disgusted with the abundance of low-life criminals and high-ranking mobsters in their South Boston neighborhood, the two Irish MacManus twins, Connor, played by Sean Patrick Flannery, and Murphy, played by Norman Reedus, take matters into their own hands.

After receiving a sign from God, Connor and Murphy act as holy executioners, delivering punishments according to a higher law than the easily evaded laws of man.

The film indulges a dark fantasy most of us have had ? we are constantly bombarded with news stories of murderers, rapists and drug dealers who escape punishment because of some loophole in the law.

We watch these reports and sometimes, for a moment, the thought flashes through our minds that these people should die, without the hassle of trials and juries.

The MacManus brothers take this desire and run with it ? oddly enough, their actions not only seem justified, but necessary.

There’s a good chance you never saw a trailer for “Boondock Saints.” After a falling-out with Miramax, Duffy’s original screenplay was adapted into a film released directly to video in 1999.

Duffy’s major conflict with Miramax involved his refusal to budge on his casting choices.

Luckily, Duffy got to make the movie he wanted with the actors of his choice. Flannery and Reedus complement each other extremely well, communicating their strong connection without words in several scenes.

Despite their bloody means to an end, they are incredibly charming as brawling, drinking, yet multilingual, moral brothers whose actions are steeped in religious devotion without coming off as fanatical.

One of the strongest roles in the movie is played by Willem Dafoe, whose face expresses more in a single look than most actors can in a lifetime of work, as FBI Agent Smecker, who follows the MacManus brothers’ case.

“Boondocks'” cast is rounded out by David Della Rocco as the brothers’ friend who joins them on their crusade and Billy Connolly as the mysterious “Il Duci.”

Additionally, the film has colorful and comic minor characters such as a bartender with Tourette’s and a team of dim-witted policemen.

For someone without any formal film training in screenwriting or directing, Duffy has a unique spin on the art of storytelling. His use of flash-forwards and flashbacks to break up the sequence of events gives us our information in pieces. We are able to see Smecker’s perspective in the aftermath of several of the brothers’ killings before we find out what actually occurred.

The film has several exciting shoot-out scenes, which are not bloody merely for the sake of being gory. Duffy’s use of slow motion and humor offset the violence of the brothers’ actions.

While the ending may leave some viewers desiring a little more, this may possibly be attributed to Duffy wanting the option of making a sequel. According to the official “The Boondock Saints” Web site ?www.theboondocksaints.com ? “Boondock Saints II: The Second Coming” is currently in production.

The new Fox DVD version of the movie has several deleted scenes and humorous outtakes, along with Duffy’s commentary. Unfortunately, this version is the R rated cut of the film, which eliminates some of the violence of the NC-17 edition available in Japan.

However, regardless of which version you see, “The Boondock Saints” will leave you wanting to be less apathetic and desensitized to the world around you. If anything, it will leave you wishing you could be an ultra-cool, gritty, tough-as-nails, badassed but saintly Irish guy, or at least wishing you could date one.



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