I just watched the trailer for The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. Yes, the sequel to the “cult classic” The Boondock Saints.
This movie, or set of movies, now joins the list of “Why did they keep going?” franchises. I know that sounds negative but it’s not completely; I would add good movies to that list along with bad. This list includes, yet is obviously not limited to: Green Street Hooligans (yes, there is a sequel), basically any horror franchise, every single superhero franchise (good and bad included, I’m looking at you Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies and Fantastic Four, respectively), Lost Boys, most of the Disney Animated Classics, and loads more I can’t think of right now. The point is why do studios/filmmakers/directors/etc. continue movie franchises when continuing almost certainly means devaluing the franchise of any sort of credibility?
Let me go back a little bit. The Boondock Saints is a great movie. Funny, violent, exciting, artistic, it’s very entertaining to watch. While it doesn’t seem to have much premise other than “two Irish residents of Boston go on a violent God-ordained rampage and kill lots of bad gangsters in their city,” it makes for an interesting concept and really is more of a vehicle for how the killing goes down. Which sounds mindless but translates to a very cool movie.
So you have this movie. It was (apparently) a disaster to make, made no waves when it was released in theaters, and then became a huge hit released on DVD, thanks to the powerful effect of word-of-mouth between college kids. It’s considered a cult classic. And now, ten years later, a sequel is being made. I just watched the trailer, and it looks like they’ve replaced the Rocco character (comic relief sidekick from the original) with another Rocco-like character, and instead of Willem Dafoe playing the FBI agent tracking the Saints down, he’s been replaced with a “sexy” crime-fighter who’s “really gonna give them hell.” Those are not quotes from the trailer, just a way to emphasize the cliches of movie sequels, the whole “upping the ante” factor. Sounds awful doesn’t it?
Here’s the interesting part. It might not be. The same writer-director of the original is helming the sequel, and the whole main cast (excluding Dafoe) is returning. This means the same two Saints (who really sold the original), their same bushy-bearded dad, and the squad of Boston police officers who were Dafoe’s lackeys in the original. It actually seems like it might turn into a decent movie, as far as movie sequels go.
I think I was just a little annoyed by the fact they were making a sequel at all, as good as this might be. The Boondock Saints was a great movie, why can’t it be left at that? People sacrifice their art and continue to make something after the creative well has dried and it cheapens whatever of the original was good.
So unless I hear that it really is awesome, I probably won’t see this movie. Because honestly, how many people do you remember saying “Man Home Alone 3 is really where the series took off. I’m so glad they got rid of Macaulay Culkin”?