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Film / The Boondock Saints

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"And shepherds we shall be, for Thee, my Lord, for Thee.
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand, that our feet may swiftly carry out Thy command.
So we shall flow a river forth to Thee, and teeming with souls shall it ever be,
In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti."
Connor and Murphy McManus, delivering the family prayer before executing someone.

The Boondock Saints is a 1999 independent action thriller film written and directed by Troy Duffy about two Irish Catholic brothers from South Boston, Connor and Murphy McManus (played by Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus), who become vigilantes on a "Mission from God" after they are almost killed by Russian mobsters following a barroom brawl on St. Patrick's Day.

The brothers kill the mobsters and then turn themselves in to the police, though they are quickly released on their self-defense plea. They learn the location of the syndicate's leaders, then kill them all. They are quickly joined by their best friend David Della Rocco (played by an actor who shares the name), a package boy for the local Italian mafia, who enlists their help in taking down his former syndicate after he is sold out by his bosses Pappa Joe and Vincenzo.

FBI Special Agent Paul Smecker (played by Willem Dafoe) is on the case of the vigilantes, and as the bad guy body count continues to rise and the brothers become local heroes, Smecker has to decide whether he wants to catch the killers or join them.

Everything comes to a head when the Italians, tired of being picked off like flies, call in the mysterious hitman Il Duce (played by comedian Billy Connolly in one of his rare dramatic roles) to kill Rocco, who they believe is responsible for the killings. When the three Saints and the Duke collide, all hell quickly breaks loose; and when it is finally learned just who Il Duce is, the stage is set for a final reckoning that will bring the South Boston mob to its knees.

The Boondock Saints ran for all of a week in only a few theaters because no major distributor would touch the film after Duffy's falling out with his initial executive producer Harvey Weinstein. (The then-recent crackdown on violent action and horror movies and media in general following the school shooting at Columbine earlier that year didn't help things either.) However, when it was released several years later on FOX DVD, the movie became a massive cult success. Fans compare the film to Quentin Tarantino's classics Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, and Robert Rodriguez's Desperado. A sequel called The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day was rumored for years (especially because the first film ends on one hell of a cliffhanger) and was finally released on October 30, 2009.

The film is especially popular for St. Paddy's Day drinking games, where if you sip every time someone curses, you're hammered by 30 minutes in. Because of this, some people have never seen the whole movie, nor seen it sober.

The 2003 documentary Overnight details the rise and fall of Duffy's reputation through the process of making the film, attributing the trajectory in no small part to the considerable overinflation of ego he suffered from. While he has tried to apologize for his past behavior, watching the doc may give you a better idea of why we had to wait ten years for the sequel, and why a third film may not ever happen at all, although rumors still persist that it may happen eventually.

Has a Character Sheet that is in desperate need of more love.

Not to be confused with The Boondocks.

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     Examples contained in both films 
  • Anachronic Order: One of the reasons it is compared to Quentin Tarantino. The majority of the movies show investigators poring over the aftermath of the fight scenes first, and figuring out what happened. Their narration may or may not be correct due to missing something, or outright lying, but as they describe the scene, the events of what happened play out, giving us our much-wanted gunfight.
  • Anti-Hero: The brothers' moral compass is a bit loose. They give Rocco a free pass, despite him having a career in the Mafia which failed only because of his own incompetence, because he's a good drinking buddy. And they are perfectly willing to buy all their guns from a man heavily implied to be IRA. Not to mention they seem to have no qualms about stealing from the mobsters they kill even before they receive their Mission from God. Also, Connor somehow seems to know what heroin tastes like, to which Murphy responds, "How the fuck would you know?" in the sequel. Lampshaded by Rocco:
    Rocco: Anybody you think is evil?
    Connor: Aye.
    Rocco: Don't you think that's a little weird, a little psycho?
  • Anti-Villain: Almost anyone on the side of the brothers.
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: pointing a gun at your friend even as a joke is not something one should do.
  • Atomic F-Bomb: While the whole movie consistents of F-Bombs, one in particular is this trope. As Smecker and the detectives puzzle over the details of one particular murder case, Smecker summarizes the confusing questions they don't have answers too, and then sits there silently for several seconds before screaming "FUCK!" so loudly and suddenly that the detectives both nearly jump out of their seats.
  • Audience Participation: Mostly for the first one, but its cult status has led to some fan screenings, including a few in 2009 on the tenth anniversary of the film's release.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: The McManus brothers occasionally do this.
  • Badass Boast: "We will send you to whatever God you wish."
  • Badass Creed:
    • The Family Prayer.
    • From the end of the first movie: "Never shall innocent blood be shed, yet the blood of the wicked shall flow like a river. The three shall spread their blackened wings and be the vengeful, striking hammer of God."
  • Badass Longcoat: Il Duce and Rocco. The McManus twins are badass Peacoats; which, considering Boston in March, is a lot more practical. Detective Eunice Bloom in the sequel imagines herself as a Gun Twirling cowgirl wearing a duster during one of her summations of the Saints' hits.
  • Berserk Button: Go on. Just try to bring harm to either of the brothers. Chances are the last thing you'll see is a toilet crashing down on your head.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Particularly in the sequel, not all of the foreign languages are subtitled.
    • Subverted in the first film — the McManus brothers say something to the Russian mobster before starting a bar fight in what is supposed to be Russian. What they really say, however, is utter gibberish, which could be why Chekhov gives them a perplexed "Huh?"
    • If you're curious, the last line of the prayer is Latin for "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit", with the gunshot substituting the traditional last word of "Amen."
    • Meanwhile, "Vaffanculo", the last words of both Giuseppe Yakavetta in the first film and his son Concessio in the second, translates to English more or less as a very derogatory "get fucked."
  • Butt-Monkey: Greenly and, to a lesser extent, Dolly and Duffy. Rocco and Romeo have their moments too.
  • Catchphrase: The McManus family prayer, as well as Greenly's "Thanks for coming out!"
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Both films refuse to take themselves seriously... until Il Duce gets called in.
  • Christianity is Catholic: Justified, in that almost all of the characters who are shown to be religious are Irish, Italian, or Mexican. The McManus clan seems to be off in their own little vaguely Catholic-ish sect, complete with their own prayers.
  • Coins for the Dead: The McManus brothers place coins over the eyes of their execution victims.
  • Cool Shades: Badass Il Duce wears a pair of teashades.
  • Crash in Through the Ceiling: The protagonists try a "Mission: Impossible" Cable Drop, but fall though the ceiling accidentally, getting tangled in their rope... and killing everyone in the room as they spin about upside down.
  • Due to the Dead:
    • Played straight for the most part, particularly with the Saints' victims.
    • Hilariously averted in the sequel when the Saints visit Rocco's grave and see that they used his mugshot for his memorial.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Vincenzo having a go in the booth.
    • Gorgeous George wearing his pink speedo.
  • Fast-Roping: Lampshaded by Connor and ends up being accidentally invoked by the Saints. In the sequel, they play it straight... in an over-the-top way.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The Saints, concerning their actual targets. When dealing with innocents, they fall under Affably Evil or Anti-Villain.
    Rocco: We could kill everyone. (meaning, everyone in the South Boston Mafia)
    Murphy: What do you think of that?
    Connor: I'm strangely comfortable with it.
  • Fighting Irish: Connor and Murphy take being Irish very seriously and will throw down pretty much anywhere.
  • Floating Head Syndrome: One of the most awkward examples ever.
  • Freudian Slip: "Fag man" instead of "fat man," though Smecker takes it in stride. During a pep talk, Rocco has one during his Rated M for Manly speech.
    Rocco: You think that the men who built all this had it easy?
    Murphy: Hard men!
    Connor: Doing hard shit!
    Rocco: And that gives me a hard-on! [Record Scratch] But not in a gay way or anything like that.
  • Friendly Sniper: Connor and Murphy would be friendly even if they weren't on a mission from God to shoot evil people in the head.
  • Guns Akimbo: The McManus brothers, Rocco, and especially Il Duce. In the sequel, almost everyone uses this trope.
  • Hero of Another Story: What we see of Il Duce's past heavily alludes to this, though it took place roughly twenty-five years prior.
  • Hiding Behind the Language Barrier:
    • In the first film, Murphy needs to ask Connor a possibly incriminating question in front of Agent Smecker, so he does so in Irish Gaelic.
    • Then, after Smecker's done with their interview, Smecker asks if they know any other languages apart from Russian, since part of their story included taunting a Mafiya thug in his native tongue. They proceed to show off by speaking French, Italian, German, and Spanish in front of Smecker, by having a quick conversation wondering how he figured out most of their story without having to talk to them. To Smecker's credit, he seems to pick up on the conversation by the time it finishes up.
    • In the second film, this gets subverted: Romeo asks his uncle in Spanish not to embarrass him in front of the McManus brothers. He doesn't realize they know Spanish too.
  • Hitman with a Heart: The brothers and Il Duce have a very Leon-esque code about "no women, no kids." Fitting, seeing that Il Duce is the brothers' father.
  • Hollywood Tourette's: The bartender Doc. There has been some attempt at realism here, though. Doc has motor tics as well as verbal ones, and his verbal tic is preceeded by a period of stuttering.
  • Holy Hitman: The twins always recite their family prayer before executing someone.
  • Hollywood Silencer: The Saints almost always wield silenced pistols.
  • Iconic Item: The pennies that the Saints place on their victims’ eyes, as well as Il Duce's vest full of guns. Romeo is able to figure out who they are quickly in the sequel, since not only do they talk about matching their police sketches and dying their hair to reduce the risk of being recognized, but they are a pair of Irish guys carrying a bunch of pennies. The brothers' wooden rosaries also count.
  • Improbable Weapon User: A toilet in the first film, as well as a billiard ball. In the second, a tattoo pen for minor comic relief.
  • Inspector Lestrade: Greenly. Until Smecker arrives.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Whenever Il Duce gets called in around the halfway mark, things get serious. Which is very odd, seeing as Il Duce is played by Billy Connolly.
  • Knight Templar: The brothers definitely don't play this straight, but they do occasionally exploit it to screw with people.
  • Lamarck Was Right: This might explain how a pair of multi-lingual Irish twins who spent their lives praying, living in a broken apartment, and working at a meat plant are so good at killing off mobsters with pairs of pistols. The Man Behind the Man in the sequel even lampshades it.
  • Large Ham:
    • Smecker, whenever he is re-enacting one of the shootouts:
      Smecker: There was a fiiire FIGHT!
    • Smecker's protegee Eunice Bloom in the sequel.
    • Connor, in general.
    • Yuri Petrova, the Russian mob boss the Saints execute in the hotel.
    • Rocco, obviously.
  • A Lighter Shade of Grey: "We urge you lesser forms of filth not to push the bounds and cross over into true corruption, into our domain. For if you do, one day you will look behind you and you will see we three, and on that day, you will reap it!"

  • The Mafia: The South Boston Italian mob.
  • The Mafiya: The Russian crime syndicate moving into Boston.
  • Malaproper: Doc, the bartender at McGinty's.
    Rocco: Hey, Doc, I gotta buy you, like, a proverb book or somethin'. This mix-and-match shit has gotta go.
  • Manchild: When they're not shooting people in the head, Connor and Murphy bicker and tussle like ten-year-old boys. The fact that, when hunting down and executing bad guys, their "tactics" almost always stem from some badass scene they saw in a TV show or movie reinforces this trope even more.
  • Missing Mom: The condition of Murphy and Connor's mother (and, presumably, Il Duce's estranged wife or possibly ex-wife) is never touched on in the released films. A deleted scene from the first film has the twins receiving an ill-timed phone call from her, but how that scene fits into canon is debatable.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: All the Saints, although they did tase that housewife in the first film after getting access to her husband's poker game (said husband and his poker buddies are all mobsters). But as knocking her out meant she wouldn't get in the way and inadvertently be killed in the crossfire, this is likely justified.
  • No Name Given: One is more likely to survive in this film without a name. The brothers' names are Connor and Murphy — which is rarely mentioned in either film, while every other character gets a pause and a brief caption that literally spells out their identity. Il Duce (their father) gets a caption that reveals absolutely nothing and is only addressed by his real name, Noah, in the second film. The Roman as well only gets a proper name during the last third of the second film. The only aversion to the survival rate was the "Sick Fuck!" He is credited as "Sick Mob Man".
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Choral hymns play over gorier scenes.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping:
    • The brothers, often. Justified by their Omniglot status; the brothers learned their languages well enough that their accents have been rendered about as battered as Connor MacLeod's.
    • By the second movie, it seems their accents are almost intentionally bad. Julie Benz' accent is also overdone for comic effect.
    • Carlo Rota (Papa Joe) in the first film keeps slipping back into his native English accent every other syllable.
  • Omniglot: The brothers speak several languages, including English, Irish, Russian, Spanish, Italian, German, and French.
  • Overcrank: Nearly every action scene uses this to combine hilarity with badassitude. When it stops being used, things get serious.
  • Papa Wolf:
    Il Duce: Easy boys... Daddy's working.
  • Possession Implies Mastery: The film never does explain how Connor and Murphy are so proficient with firearms.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: The family prayer that the brothers recite before executing someone.
  • Rated M for Manly: Both movies. The dream sequence in the sequel underlines this, though most people generally agree that the scene where Connor rips a toilet out of the floor is the best example in the first.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns:
    • In the first movie, Rocco emphasizes a point by slamming his hands down on a table, causing the Beretta 92 pistol sitting on the table — which, mind you, is standard issue for U.S. soldiers and designed specifically to avert this tropenote  — to fire, killing the poor pussycat that was laying next to it. Particularly jarring compared to the courthouse climax when the bailiffs drop their guns from a mezzanine fifteen or twenty feet up without any mishap. In the DVD commentary, it's stated that this scene exists due to a combination of Rule of Funny and a hatred of cats.
    • The sequel averts this, however, when the brothers drop their Desert Eagles when surrounded by police and SWAT after the last shoot-out.
  • Rule of Cool: Basically the entire franchise relies on this.
  • Running Gag: Several, but the most obvious is the oft-compared-to "rocket surgery".
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Many of the beautiful choral hymns play over gorier scenes.
  • Southies: Oh my yes. The film is quite inaccurate on the subject, though it doesn't matter. Interestingly, the film's cult fandom is not especially large around South Boston.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: At key points in parts 1 and 2, the plot gets more serious, the stakes get higher and the joking stops cold.
  • Sibling Team: The McManus twins are inseparable and are partners in crime.
  • Smoking Is Cool: The Saints all smoke, as do many other characters. Word of God says that during the Il Duce firefight in the first film, they needed to put a cigar in Billy Connolly's mouth because he would not stop smiling.
  • Team Title: Though the brothers are occasionally called saints, the "boondock" part is never mentioned.
  • Throw-Away Guns: Il Duce's signature gun vest allows him to carry six handguns at once.
  • Twin Tropes: Connor and Murphy are fraternal twins, though they don't fit many Twin Tropes besides Twin Telepathy (which is the only way they could have the same dream in both the first film and the sequel, and a mild variant of Polar Opposite Twins.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Arguably Detective Greenly, who is somewhat incompetent compared to Smecker (and even Dolly and Duffy to an extent). However, he is only shown as being bad at making theories, not at everything. Also, Greenly claims in the second film that he, Dolly, and Duffy have put away half the guys that are in prison. While he was obviously exaggerating, the other characters wouldn't hesitate to take the piss out of him if it was a total lie.
  • Vigilante Man:
    • An interesting case in that they try to be this, but come across as hitmen more than anything else.
    • The second movie reveals that Louie used Noah exactly this way. Louie's "intelligence" on mobsters Noah would assassinate were actually hit contracts received from rival mafiosi.
  • Wall of Weapons: The underground storage bunker that they get their stock from.

     Examples that occur in the first film 
  • Actor Allusion: While re-enacting one of the murders, Smecker raises his hands up to the heavens, a reference to Willem Dafoe's death in the movie Platoon.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Subverted and Lampshaded — the brothers use an air vent to get into the Russian Mobster's meeting, but get lost. They only end up in the right place because they start fighting each other and cause the vent to break through the ceiling, dumping them right into the correct room. Later, Smecker lampshades this, noting that they're amateurs because air vent escapes only happen on TV and no pro would try it.
  • Almighty Janitor: In dealing with the Saints, Yakavetta turns to retired mobster Augustus DiStephano, who works as a bathroom attendant. He is apparently well-connected enough to get Il Duce out of prison. however, it could also have been just advice and Yakavetta himself had taken Il Duce out of prison .
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Invoked; the end credits show a reporter interviewing people on their wildly varying views on the Saints.
  • Amusing Injuries: They tie a Russian gangster to a bar top and set his ass on fire. Later, the same Russian gangster gets a toilet dropped directly on his cranium. There are many, many other examples. Let's just say that this film ties with Tropic Thunder in the Hilarious Carnage department.
  • Anachronic Order: A subtle one. To judge from the way the priests in the opening church scene react to seeing Connor and Murphy, it has to be set after the main events of the movie.
  • Angrish: Loads and loads. Of note is Rocco's reaction to the Copley Plaza massacre is one of these involving a Cluster F-Bomb.
    Rocco: Mother fucking... what the fucking fuck... who the fuck fucked this fucking... how did you two fucking fucks... FUCK!
    Connor: Well, that certainly illustrates the diversity of the word.
  • Apathetic Citizens: "Now, 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."
  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: When he decides to kill Rocco, Pappa Yakaveta dramatically snaps his revolver cylinder shut by flipping his wrist. With swing-out cylinder revolvers, doing this can bend the cylinder arm, misaligning the cylinder, and leading to a misfire, potentially blowing the gun apart. The particular one he's using is known for its Swiss watch-like fitting, making it even more of a bad idea than usual to do this trick.
  • Artistic License – History: At the beginning of the film, the monsignor mentions Kitty Genovese during his homily on Bystander Syndrome. However, while the Genovese case (and the New York Times' report on it) did become the Trope Codifier of Bystander Syndrome, in actual fact it was anything but. note  However, while a rival crime reporter found large holes in the story even at the time, the NY Times' reputation prevented anyone making a serious counter-example until a study in 2007; the NY Times themselves didn't acknowledge the inaccuracies until 2016.
  • Artistic License – Traditional Christianity: The priests' vestments in the opening scene are all different, leaving any Catholic watching baffled as to what liturgical season it's supposed to be.
  • Asshole Victim: Just about every one of the Saints' victims, but Vincenzo, the Sick Mob Man, and Pappa Joe himself in particular.
  • Bar Brawl: The McManuses throw down with the Russian mob dudes early on in the movie, which ends with them setting Ivan Checkov's ass on fire. This pisses him and the other mob dude with him off enough to raid their apartment and try to kill them, setting up the events of the movie.
  • Bench Breaker: Connor McManus is handcuffed to a toilet as two Russian mobsters take his brother Murphy out to the alley to shoot him in the head. Connor, in a fit of Unstoppable Rage, tears the toilet right out of the floor, carries up to the apartment building roof and proceeds to send the toilet crashing down upon the head of the guy about to kill his brother as he jumps down himself onto the back of the second goon.
  • Big Bad: Giuseppi "Pappa Joe" Yakavetta, The Mafia boss running Boston.
  • Black Comedy Pet Death: One of the blackest jokes in the film is a scene in which Rocco, excitedly slapping down on a table as he talks about helping the McManus brothers with their vigilantism, accidentally sets off a pistol that was lying on the table which completely splatters a cat all over a wall, making Rocco and the brothers react with a combination of horror and befuddlement.
    Murphy: I can't believe that just fucking happened!
    Rocco: Is it dead?
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Pappa Joe shoots Rocco, but leaves the McManuses bound. May be justified by him wanting to question the brothers some more and thinking of Rocco as dead weight.
  • Bookends: The movie opens with a priest telling the story of Kitty Genovese, while in the trial at the end of the movie, Pappa Joe's alibi to an unspecified charge is that he was at the genovese (the butcher shop) with his mother.
  • The Can Kicked Him: Connor McManus is handcuffed to a toilet as two Russian mobsters take his brother Murphy out to the alley to shoot him in the head. Connor, in a fit of Unstoppable Rage, tears the toilet right out of the floor, carries up to the apartment building roof and proceeds to send the toilet crashing down upon the head of the guy about to kill his brother as he jumps down himself onto the back of the second goon.
  • Cassandra Truth: The Butt-Monkey detectives of the Boston Police are so wildly wrong in the first part of the movie that when they finally start getting it right later on, Smecker doesn't believe them.
    Smecker: So you're telling me it was one guy with six guns, and he was a senior frigging citizen?
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • While gearing up, the brothers mock each other for getting some rope and a large bowie knife, just in case. Both items end up getting used during the hotel scene, the knife while they are carrying out the execution of the Sick Mob Man and killing one of Yakavetta's men after they get free. The rope even makes a reappearance in the second movie.
    • In the first movie, Rocco returns in a panic after the Lakeview Restaurant shooting, telling the brothers to "Pack your shit!" so that the three of them could flee. One of the items Rocco packs (after brandishing it at Connor while shouting) is the iron that they later use to cauterize their wounds.
    • When Rocco asks the brothers to teach him the prayer that they always use when executing mob dudes, Connor refuses, stating that it's a family prayer, "my father's father before him, so that's our shit". This sets up the biggest reveal of the movie, where Il Duce walks in on the brothers saying the family prayer over the fallen Rocco and finishes the prayer himself.
  • Chromosome Casting: No named female characters appear in the film. Only one even interacts with the main characters (at the beginning).
  • Cluster F-Bomb: See Angrish, above. According to IMDB, the word is dropped 246 times.
  • Confessional: Smecker winds up in one of these after getting drunk off his ass, and it soon becomes a very tense scene as Rocco wants to kill him for being a "lia-fucking-bility", but neither of the brothers want him dead, considering him a good man.
  • Couldn't Find a Lighter: One of the brothers lights a cigarette using the flame from his gas stove.
  • Creative Closing Credits: Several people are interviewed by a reporter about their opinions of the saints.
  • Creator Cameo: Duffy is seen in the bar, wearing overalls.
  • Dare to Be Badass: In a way, the priest's sermon in the beginning of the film:
    Now, 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.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Greenly. He manages to correctly state the motive behind the McManus brothers' murders ("They were all bad guys. Now, they're dead bad guys.") as well as the number of hitmen sent after them ("What if it was one guy with six guns?"), only to have his conclusions immediately shot down by Smecker.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: "Sick Mob Man" has a wife, a son, and a bunch of buddies who come over every week to play poker.
  • Family Extermination: The "Sick Mob Man" carries out one of these.
  • Finger Gun: Smecker does this along with the Saints firing their actual guns when they ambush a mob's pool hall.
  • Fingore: In the shootout with Il Duce, Rocco loses a finger, which Smecker uses to identify him by means of his fingerprint. When the Saints get captured by Yakavetta's men, Pappa Joe shoots off another one of Rocco's fingers before ultimately deciding to kill him.
  • Flashback: All the hits except the last are shown like this, usually involving Agent Smecker working out what happened. Eventually, Smecker and the Saints are shown in the same scene, showing how Smecker now identifies with them.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: The "Sick Mob Man", an utterly cold-blooded hitman who killed a whole family, wears glasses. He can be seen carefully adjusting them before coming out of the bathroom to attack Rocco.
  • Genre Savvy: The McManus brothers and Agent Smecker both repeatedly comment on their exploits whenever they resemble TV or action movies.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: As soon as the McManus brothers and their father Il Duce have finished with their prayer during the last scene of the movie, they blow off Don Yakavetta's head with two silenced Beretta 92's AND a Franchi PA3/215 shotgun. Obviously, we don't see the carnage, as it cuts to a shot showing Smecker's horrified expression before he closes his eyes and turns away. Note that he only shuts his eyes a split second AFTER the shotgun fired, meaning that he saw what we didn't in that scene.
  • Heal It With Fire: After their first encounter with Il Duce, Connor, Murphy and Rocco all take turns healing their injuries using a Cloth Iron left over a stove, complete with operatic accompaniment.
  • Hollywood Healing: Connor's wounds from the handcuffs are pretty much gone in about three or four days, and don't scar at all. Same for Murphy's cauterized arm.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Smecker, in the same discussion, calls out one of the cops for saying "symbology" instead of symbolism", and also mentions being an expert in "nameology."
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face:
    • The scene with the cat, where Rocco slams his fists against the table to make a point after deciding to join them, causing the Beretta that the brothers just gave him to discharge and splatter his girlfriend's cat against the near wall. It doesn't truly become hilarious until Rocco's dumb-assed question, "Is it dead?"
    • An aversion can be seen in that same scene. Even though Murphy and Connor are hammered out of their minds and play around with their guns for most of the scene, neither of them have a magazine fed into their weapons. Rocco having his gun loaded and chambered is explained by him being "kind of an idiot".
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Averted. When Smecker is introduced, Da Chief gives the cops outright orders to cooperate fully. The police hate Smecker's arrogance at first, but quickly come to respect his skills.
  • Lineage Ladder: When Rocco asks if Connor and Murphy will teach him the prayer that they always say when they're executing people, Connor refuses and makes it clear that the prayer is strictly a family matter, citing his "father's father" to indicate that it's been in the family for generations. This ends up foreshadowing the true identity of Il Duce as the twins' father):
    Connor: Cool it, Roc. It's a family prayer. My father's father before him, so that's our shit.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Il Duce is the brothers' father.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: The brothers and Rocco vs Il Duce. Is it God's intervention that none of the parties involved die in this epic meeting? Or is it simply because it's three self-admitted amateurs, up against a hit man who hasn't been able to actively maintain his skills for 25 years?
    • The Twins in general. Did they really recieve a mission from God to punish evildoers and from that moment on are under His protection, or are they just two extremely lucky goofs who took some random idea way too seriously? The movie is ambiguous enough to make both explanations equally possible.
  • Mission from God: Connor and Murphy believe they've been chosen by God to rid Boston of evil after killing a gangster.
  • Motivation on a Stick: Detective Greenley sarcastically suggests that the only way they're going to catch the McManus brothers is by "...dangling a potato on a string" — of course, they walk in just as he's saying this.
    Murphy: You'd probably have better luck with a beer.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Both (trim and muscular) brothers are seen shirtless when they awaken from the vision/dream.
  • Mundane Wish: The punchline to the racist joke Rocco tells.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Downplayed, by the end of the film after the brothers and their dad kill the Big Bad, the public view on the brothers is mixed because, despite cleaning up the streets, some just see them as psychopaths, probably for actions such as killing a mob boss in a public courtroom.
  • N-Word Privileges: Sort of. "Mick" and "wop" aren't exactly terms of affection between the McManus brothers and Rocco, but they would probably respond to anyone else who used them with violence. Defied with Smecker, whose casually dropping homophobic slurs like this trope is in place pisses off other gay men.
  • Nerves of Steel: Say what you will about the "sick fuck" hitman, but he's got balls. His poker and pool party is getting shot up while he's in the bathroom. A bullet punches a hole through the door and shatters the mirror. Does he even flinch? No. He just puts his glasses on, pulls his pants up, takes the towels of the towel rack and folds them neatly, rips the towel rack off the wall, and even when he gets shot, he smashes the gun out of his shooter's hand.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • After Smecker infiltrates Don Yakavetta's home, and comes across a mook with his throat cut. Il Duce then comes up behind Smecker and gives him a Tap on the Head, having mistaken him for a woman.
    • Earlier in the same film, after Yakavetta's men have captured the Saints, and realized that Il Duce, whom they hired to kill the Saints and loves killing Mafiosos, isn't going to stop until he's killed somebody.
  • Pants-Positive Safety: Rocco.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Willem Dafoe makes as convincing a woman as Bugs Bunny does. And, like Bugs, he has the extreme good fortune to "seduce" the one guy on earth stupid enough to be fooled by his getup.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Played with. Sometimes, the Saints don't really discriminate between mooks, and sometimes they can come across as too soft on certain bad guys, like Pappa Joe.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: In Pappa Joe's first scene, he asks Rocco to tell him a joke. When Rocco is telling the joke, Pappa Joe and his Dragon Vincenzo insist Rocco refer to black people as "niggers".
  • Professional Killer: Rocco drives a "sick fuck" hitman to his job, where he proceeds to wipe out a family. The three face another, more badass hitman in the form of Il Duce shortly after finishing off the first.
  • Room Disservice: Rocco's attempted hit on the Russians.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: It depends on which region of Greece you're learning from, but Smecker says in Greek mythology, people had to pay the toll to cross the river, and that's where the coins on the eyes comes from. In actuality, only some believed that, while most believed that only the living had to pay to cross the river to the Underworld, and even in those that believed it, the coin went in the mouth, not on the eyes.
  • Shipped in Shackles: Il Duce (who provides the page image for this trope) is moved from his cell to the ground floor for a parole hearing. He is cuffed hand and foot, chained to a rolling platform, and wheeled down to the parole board. The prison is put on high-alert, with shotgun-wielding guards on every floor, all to move one man down a few flights of stairs. Once he's there, they even put him inside a metal cage to protect the parole board. All this serves to establish him as probably the biggest badass of the movie.
  • Spoonerism: "Paul Smecker"?
  • Stout Strength: Referenced. When Greenly sees the state of the two mobsters in the alley (who have been physically crushed), his theory is that they were beaten to death by a 500-pound mugger.
  • St. Patrick's Day Episode: The film's opening scenes are set in an Irish neighborhood of Boston on St. Patrick's Day.
  • Straight Gay: Ultimately averted by Paul Smecker. He seems like a tough, straight detective, until he's seen in bed with another man. When the man wants to cuddle, he sneers, "Cuddle, what a fag", making it seem like he's a Straight Gay, but throughout the film he makes a number of campy flourishes. He occasionally lisps and minces for humor's sake, and at one point sits on a pink divan while petting a pink feather boa. In the end, he seems rather comfortable dressing in drag for a disguise. "Schmecker" or "Smecker" are American Yiddish euphemisms for "schmuck", which means "penis", and is often used as an insult.
  • Straw Feminist: The brothers are set to train a new, very butch, employee at their meat-packing job who goes ballistic when she hears the phrase "rule of thumb" (citing the apocryphal story about it being based on wife beating). When the brothers needle her about it she kicks Connor in the balls, then Murphy knocks her out with a punch in the face, getting everyone involved fired. There's a nod to this scene in the scene where the brothers talk to their mom, who promptly calls the lady in question a "dirty bitch" upon hearing how she nailed Connor in the nuts.
  • Suicide Mission: Rocco was sent on one by his boss, armed with a six-shot revolver against nine Russian mobsters. After he realizes this is the case, he joins the McManuses' crusade against the Italian mob.
  • Suspiciously Specific Sermon: A monsignor delivers a sermon referencing the Kitty Genovese case, saying "now, 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." The brothers McManus, after leaving the church, comment that "the Monsigneour's finally getting the point". This combines with the fact that the visiting priest is about to object to their coming up past the pulpit to kiss the feet of the crucified Jesus until another priest whispers something to him, at which point the visiting priest's face becomes an expression of shock and awe. It also combines with the fact that no one else in the congregation seems to object to the boys' behavior. All of these elements give the impression that this scene actually takes place after the boys' transformation into the Saints and implies that the sermon is intended to be a veiled approval by the speaking priest of the Saints' agenda.
  • Talk to the Fist: How Ivan responds to Rocco starting to crack a Your Mom line at him.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The two mob soldiers who had been aware of Rocco being set up to be killed, laugh at his face and gloat them not warning him is proof of being reliable for promotion. Keep in mind they do this to a guy who for all they know, killed nine Russian mob bosses with a six-shot revolver.
  • Tuckerization: "Yakavetta" is the last name of one of Troy Duffy's best friends.
  • Unorthodox Reload: After Yakavetta loads his revolver, he flicks his wrist to snap the cylinder shut. In Real Life, an excellent way to damage your revolver and cause an embarrassing misfire.
  • Vigilante Execution: Once in a hotel suite, and another inside a courtroom.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Saints as a whole.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Papa Joe's "Italian" accent doesn't seem to resemble the speaking patterns of any real Italian person, dead or alive.
  • Why Are You Looking at Me Like That?: At the beginning, Connor walks into the meat packing plant where both brothers work, and everyone looks at him. Unknown to Connor, Murphy is hiding behind the door telling everyone to be quiet.
    Connor: (with a confused look) What?
    (Murphy proceeds to smack him in the face with a slab of meat)
  • You, Get Me Coffee: Whenever Detective Greenly says something stupid or mouths off to Agent Smecker, he'll be dispatched to fetch coffee and bagels.
    Greenly: I ain't getting him no fucking bagel.
  • Your Mom: Rocco starts one of these towards Ivan in the bar. It doesn’t end well for Rocco.
    Rocco: Hey, Boris…what would you do, if I told you your pinko commie mother sucked SO MUCH DICK, her face…
    Ivan: [ punches Rocco’s lights out ]

     Examples contained in the second film 
  • Art Shift: The envisioned attack on the Asian drug gang is shot like a grindhouse film, with an appropriate soundtrack.
  • Bad Boss: Concezio Yakevetta, he breaks the jaw of one of his subordinates just because he corrected his pronunciation of a word.
  • Beardness Protection Program: The brothers realize this would have been a good idea almost immediately after having shaved the beards they grew since the last movie.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Concezio is killed, but it's revealed there's a Man Behind the Man: the Roman, aka Louie.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Il Duce dies, and the brothers get imprisoned, but Smecker and Bloom are going to bust them out.
  • Bond One-Liner: Parodied in the second film when Romeo ties up a janitor and threatens him into coming up with a cool thing for Romeo to say when the gunfire stops.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: In the sequel, the brothers get Desert Eagles with modified suppressors while Romeo gets a pair of ornate M1911s with gold-finished suppressors and sequined Mexican flag grip panels.
  • Brick Joke: The cat from the first film walks by when the brothers see Rocco. Also the rope.
  • Call-Back: There are several call backs to the first movie.
    • Doc's Tourette's is weaponized into joke form in one scene.
    • The cat that was accidentally shot in the first movie reappears in a dream sequence.
    • When Eunice Bloom is able to assess the death of the priest to see if it was the brothers, she explains that it was one shooter with two guns give the entry and exit wounds being consistent with one shooter due to the angles. This assessment is actually the reverse of the hit that the brothers performed at the hotel (aka "really bad television"), Paul Smecker assesses that that the main target is shot by two people with two guns because of the entry and exit wounds. When asked about it being one killer with two guns, Smecker explains how the killer would have to angle his arms in a way to make the wounds match but be more difficult to do. They both make the same assessment, only in reverse when asked about it being one shooter/two guns or two shooters/two guns.
  • Camera Abuse: In-universe example: Gorgeous George is having a teleconference (of sorts) with Concezio, who screams at him so much that he covers his camera lens in spittle.
  • The Conspiracy: The Roman has been playing the McManus clan against the Mafia to further his own standing for decades. Also, the Catholic Church appears to be taking a more... proactive role in the fight against Evil.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Rocco's opening narration, talking about how you are either a Talker, or a Doer.
  • Denser and Wackier: The film spends the first two acts trying a lot harder to be funny compared to the first movie. Some parts (the brothers playful clowning with each other and Romeo) work better than others (the over-the-top vulgar dialogue from the investigation team and several bad guys, particularly Concezio), but just like the with the first movie, all of the humor stops with a key dramatic turn at the end of Act 2 (in this case, Greenly's death).
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Greenly. He's even more retarded than usual around Special Agent Bloom.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In the sequel, Concezio's inner circle are all upset and uneasy about his supposed hit on a local priest.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Once cornered, Concezio merely crosses himself and says "Vaffanculo", which is Italian for "Fuck you". Not to mention a call-back to his father, who did the same thing before being executed by the Saints.
  • Faking the Dead: Smecker apparently dies between movies but he's been laying low. Bloom is not amused.
  • Feet-First Introduction: For nearly a minute, in slow motion, the camera tracks Eunice Bloom's ridiculously high stiletto heels as she strides to the church. This counts as a Funny Moment if you think it's going to turn out to be Agent Smecker, who was also introduced foot-first while in drag.
  • Fingertip Drug Analysis: Spoofed:
    Connor: (tastes the mysterious white powder) That's heroin.
    Murphy: (Beat) How the fuck would you know that?
    Connor: Fuck you, I know shit!
  • Forklift Fu: Romeo finds that driving a forklift as an infiltration vehicle is much tougher than he thought it would be. It still works out, though.
  • Freudian Excuse: When Il Duce was younger, his father was murdered by mobsters before his eyes, starting off his vigilante rampage.
  • Funny Background Event: When Bloom and the Detectives are in the briefing room with the police chief, a beat cop walks in carrying a dog. The Chief immediately tells him to get out.
  • Gilligan Cut: Greenly says, "They're either on their way here, or they're already here." Just as we're expecting a Badass Entry of the Saints doing the slow walk, we instead cut to them squeezed into a Volkswagon Beetle.
  • Gun Twirling: Eunice Bloom twirling a revolver as she recounts the attack on the Yakavettas.
  • Hand Cannon: In the sequel, the brothers trade in their Berettas for Desert Eagles but it is also subverted when Romeo asks for a handgun and the brothers give him a tiny pocket pistol.
  • Homage: Flashback scenes showing an older character's origins in crime amongst Italians in the early 1900s. Sound familiar?
  • Important Haircut: Lampshaded. The brothers wonder why they cut their hair since they now match their police sketches, when previously they looked "like Jesus Christ."
  • Insistent Terminology: Special Agent Bloom. Justified, as that's a specific rank in the FBI.
    Bloom: You see, there’s a Special before my Agent, and I like it when people use it because, well, it makes me feel special.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Greenly's last words to the Saints.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Played straight between the Boston police and the FBI.
  • Little Useless Gun: Romeo thinks this of the Baby Browning the McManus brothers give him prior to the warehouse shootout.
    Romeo: What am I, your girlfriend?
  • Malaproper: Concezio Yakkaveta uses these constantly. God help you if you correct him.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Attempted by Agent Kuntsler, who dismissively refers to Special Agent Bloom as "Bloomy" when he arrives to assist with the investigation. As he learns the hard way, this is not a good idea when your own name is Kuntsler.
  • Man Behind the Man: The mysterious "Roman" who masterminded the hit on the priest is revealed to be Il Duce's childhood friend Louie. Louie reveals that he was only interested in rising up the ranks of the mafia and was using Noah/Il Duce to eliminate the competition, afterward giving him up to the police when he was done. The mafia cast him out as well, but he helped rebuild the Yakavetta family after Pappa Joe's demise, and let the Saints take out the rest of the Mafia so Louie can take control.
  • Manly Tears: Romeo is rather prone to these.
  • Missing Steps Plan: In the sequel, Conner thinks up a plan to kill some criminals smuggling heroin, which involves Romeo (their new Rocco) knocking out a forklift driver with a Pistol Whip, hijacking the forklift with the brothers hidden in the forklift's crate, then, having the brothers pop out and shoot the bad guys. However, the forklift driver isn't knocked out by the Tap on the Head, ending up injured, pissed off, and explaining to the guys that they could've just held him with their guns. Also, Romeo has no idea how to drive a forklift and the crate the brothers are in is cramped. And then, physics reels its ugly head when Romeo stops the forklift, causing the crate to slide off the forklift's forks.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Connor and Murphy get an outdoor shower scene.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Special Agent Eunice Bloom, especially in the gunslinger getup.
  • The Napoleon: Ottilio Panza. His terminal case of short-man's disease ends up leaving plenty of evidence for the police that otherwise wouldn't have been there. Bloom even calls him Napoleon.
  • Nom de Guerre: The Roman.
  • Posthumous Character: Rocco and Greenly show up in a dream sequence.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!
    Connor: He was kind of a badass though.
    Murphy: Shades of Eastwood...
    Connor: Charlie Bronson...
    Both Brothers: DUKE! FUCKING! WAYNE!
  • Replacement Goldfish: Romeo replaces Rocco and does a pretty good job at it.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In the sequel, the brothers avenge the murder of their childhood priest.
  • Russian Roulette: Il Duce combines this with Mexican Standoff and uses it as an interrogation technique. The brothers use this to determine whether or not to let a bad guy live.
  • Sequel Hook: The ending explicitly lays the groundwork for the next adventure.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Eunice Bloom is the sole female with a prominent role in this film.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: The boys are just celebrating their successful dismantling of the Yakavetta mob when they are ambushed by Panza, who announces his presence by shooting Greenly in the back with a lupara shotgun.
  • Tap on the Head: When pistol whipping someone it works better when you use a gun that's bigger then the size of your palm.
  • Television Geography: There is an establishing shot of downtown Boston early on in the film. However, it is obviously stock footage because the Central Artery is still going through downtown which the Big Dig replaced long before this movie was made.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: Rocco's monologue runs dangerously close to this. Especially the part where he suffers a Freudian Slip partway through.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The official trailer reveals Peter Fonda's involvement in the film. However, he is only seen with his back turned throughout the movie and his face is only revealed in the end after his role as the Man Behind the Man and Big Bad is discovered.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Special Agent Eunice Bloom's re-enactment of the bar shootout subtly lampshades this during the slow-mo shot of the guys shooting each other. When she walks past the last pair of guys, she mimes shooting the guy on the right twice as he takes two bullets... before the guy opposite him raises his weapon and fires off the third shot that goes into him. She even smirks at the camera when this happens.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Concezio Yakavetta religiously followed the orders of the Roman, completely unaware that Louie was actually trying to bring the Saints and their father back so they could eliminate the Yakavetta family in revenge for casting him out.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: The attack on the Chinese criminals. In theory, Romeo will knock out a forklift operater via a Pistol Whip to the back of his head with a Hand Cannon, the twins will hide inside the crate on the forklift, Romeo will drive the forklift to the criminals, the brothers will pop out of the crate and shoot all the criminals, and then do a smooth flip over the crate. In practice, Romeo doesn't have a gun so the brothers give him a pocket pistol which fails to knock out the forklift operator. After scaring off the operator the brothers hide in the crate, but start bickering. This, combined with Romeo's reckless driving, causes the crate to clumsily fall off the forklift and smash on the floor right in front of the criminals.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Romeo. An approving pat on the hand from his uncle and clear father figure results in Manly Tears from Romeo as he reflects on it later. Naturally, the brothers tease him for it.
  • With Due Respect: Lampshaded.
    Eunice: "With all due respect... man, I hate it when people say that because it is inevitably followed by a disrespectful remark. Here let me give you an example: With all due respect, detective, this matter falls under whatever jurisdiction I fuckin' say it does."
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Flashbacks to Noah McManus/Il Duce's youth show that two of the mafia goons who helped bludgeon his father to death were quite appropriately nervous to see him show up for revenge with a knife and pistol in his hands and cold-blooded murder in his eyes, but the one to actually kill his Pop was very blasé about it and arrogantly insisted that the kid didn't have the balls to shoot them. Guess who dies choking on his own blood a few seconds later?

Alternative Title(s): The Boondock Saints II All Saints Day