Charismatic young stars Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus play two Irish brothers, Connor and Murphy, who believe themselves ordained by God to rid the world of evil men. Their first killing is in self-defense; but after that, they start killing with devotion, gunning down a summit of the Russian mafia.
Willem Dafoe plays a gay FBI agent (he listens to opera while examining crime scenes) who knows what the boys are doing but feels that their vigilante tactics are necessary. There's not much plot to The Boondock Saints--it's mostly a series of violent scenes in which the boys are partially ingenious and partially lucky. The movie seems to want to provoke debate about vigilantism, but the scenario is too implausible to stir any real controversy. The peculiar mix of earnestness and machismo will not appeal to everyone, but it's certainly unique and may acquire a cult following. --Bret Fetzer
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