"And Shepherds we shall be For thee, my Lord, for thee. Power hath descended forth from Thy hand. Our feet may swiftly carry out Thy commands. So we shall flow a river forth to Thee, and teeming with souls shall it ever be. In Nomeni Patri Et Fili Spiritus Sancti."
In the two thousandth and second year of our Lord, an object most holy was passed to my unworthy hands. The prophet that bequeathed said relic bade me to "watch this...and you will understand." Once I returned to my homeland, I placed the object delicately into the appropriate medium for it to communicate with me The Word.
Thus is how I became acquainted with The Saints. And it was good.
To say director Troy Duffy's freshman effort told the tale of two brothers who feel chosen by God to mete out punishment to the underworld and follows their bloody campaign would do it quite the disservice. It doesn't convey the anarchic joy of its gleeful ripping off of homage to every other action movie ever made. That description also doesn't even begin to touch on the wild style with which it was made, with it's non-linear storytelling, play with camera speeds and tempo, and fantastic use of underground music. Granted the plot didn't make any sense whatsoever, there was nary an original character to be found, and the dialog frequently delved into screaming out fuck and shit in lieu whenever it got lost...which was often. But the movie was fun. And well crafted for such a low budget production. As such, it has become a staple in many a DVD collection, so much so that it's my traditional St. Patrick's Day movie.
Fast Forward ten years and past a production so troubled that they ended up making a movie about it, and you finally get to see a sequel to the underground cult hit that proved that Billy Connolly is an absolute badass. How is it? The answer is... I'm not quite sure.
The problem stems from the core fact that there's enough picture here for two full movies, something that a good editor should have taken and carved out a tighter picture from. At 118 minutes, the movie is easily 20 minutes longer than it should have been, with its pencil thin story of vengeance. Starting out with a priest being murdered "saints-style" in an effort to bring the dynamic duo out of their hiding, it meanders down a path that takes the Batman origin story and rectally inserts it into Godfather II. What's left is hauled out on the screen at a slow enough pace that the audience is given the time to do one thing they should never do in a movie like this: Think about the logic of the situation.
Where the original film deftly veered back and forth between the comedy and violence, there are large segments of this film where it devolves into a slapstick comedy picture with sharp turns to melodrama that are just jarring. It doesn't help that a majority of the set pieces are taken from the original and given only the slightest twists so they aren't exact copies of the first picture.
But...there's still a lot of charm here, and when it finally gets rolling, the action proves to be every bit as exciting as the first flick. Besides, Julie Benz's routine with a six-shooter and a cowboy outfit was enough to send one of the other Cavalcade writers into near-convulsions of glee when he witnessed it, almost quivering right out of his seat in ecstatic dirty thoughts. Something that was both entertaining and frightening to behold, I assure you.