Boondock Saints VERSUS John Wick

Amateur Thugs getting Lucky

Past Due reviewed Boondock Saints recently and in the comments I was wondering why I had such issues with it when I watched it and yet didn’t have those same problems with John Wick.

Both are movies based on vigilante style violence. Death and Carnage and Violence  and Gore and Profanity. Both movies have them in spades. I found it offensive in Boondock but not in Wick and I wanted to know why.

Prime had Boondoggle Saints available so I watched it again. Yeah, I was not impressed. A couple of Irish brothers run up against some Russian mob guys, beat them up and then when the mobsters retaliate with guns, kill them. With a toilet. They then proceed to try to kill some other Russian mobsters and end up falling through the ceiling and shooting all the mobsters while hanging upside down from a rope from the ceiling in a hotel room. They then bring on board a friend who is as stupid as dirt and a drug addict but knows a lot of information. They get captured and with the help of a FBI agent who is trying to bring down the Russians, get free. And don’t forget their dear father and that rather silly scene in the courtroom.

So, what turned me off? The pure, unadulterated amateurness of these bozos. I don’t applaud someone who does something half-assed or counts on “luck” instead of good planning.  And the humor. That came across as annoying. A movie about Irishmen killing Russian mobsters shouldn’t be funny. You want funny, go watch that other bozo, Jackie Chan.  The only time that humor and violence should mix is in the Three Stooges. Seriously. Killing is serious business. Treat it as such.  I also didn’t like Willem Dafoe’s character. He’s the FBI agent but he’s also an abusive asshole who I ended up despising for his actions. His sympathy for the brothers and his actions in helping them simply made a mockery of the oath he took to uphold the law in the United States. The inclusion of homosexuality into the mix didn’t help at all either.


A Professional doing his job

Now, on to John Wick. John Wick’s wife is dead. She is the reason he left the Assassin business and when she dies, she leaves him a puppy so he has a reason to go on living. Some spoiled Russian mobster breaks into Wick’s house to steal his car. In the process, the brat kills the puppy and beats up Wick but they don’t kill him. See, that was a mistake. John Wick begins a campaign of violence and death against the mobster family responsible and carnage ensues. He systematically takes out their resources, their people and their bases of operations. Even when captured, and gets lucky, it is because he has cultivated a friendship with a sniper, not because of mere happenstance. Basically, whereas the Boondoggle Brothers just winged it, Wick knows how to attain and accomplish his goal.

Another reason I liked this better was because of Willem Dafoe. Interesting that he was in both movies and played a supporting character each time and each time I had a very different reaction to him. In John Wick he was a good friend who had Wick’s back even though it ended up costing him his life. He had his code of Ethics and stuck to it. Whereas in Boondoggle Saints, he let the situation determine his ethics. Now, I’m not saying that a killer sniper is a good man and a pillar of my community. But, R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Sticking to your core beliefs says a lot about a man. Even if only in a movie 🙂

The profanity. Both movies had it and in both it burned my ears. Didn’t care for it or accept it from either.

I think that is as deep as I want to go into either movie.  They’re good for a fun post but I have no desire to delve into the depths. It all comes down to what I put in my captions for the movie covers. Boondock Saints struck me as a couple of amateurs getting lucky and John Wick showed a professional doing his job.  I admire a professional.

Anyone who has watched both movies, have any thoughts about them? The nice thing about movie things is that I while I may have strong likes or dislikes, I acknowledge it is just my opinion and let things go.  Simply put, I don’t care enough to care 😀 So if you loved Boondoogle Saints and thought it was the best movie ever, please say so and tell me what you liked about it. You won’t change my mind, but I’m not trying to change your mind either with this piece.




44 thoughts on “Boondock Saints VERSUS John Wick

  1. I never wathced “Bondock saints”. But the two Wicks I did. They desensitise us to fake violence, which is why John Wick is so good, because it still has impact. Most of us would still royally soil ourselves at the mere sound of actual gunfire. Cinematically, it is a great movie, with great visuals, choreography, themes etc. There is no link between violent media and real life violence. we found that out back in the 1990’s, following Columbine that violent video-games may even reduce the incidence of violence in real life. John Wick is like a well done musical only instead of tap dancing, there is the click clack of his silenced 9mm’s. It is a well done film for the kind of film it tries to be. In terms of desensitization, if we assume that people cannot understand the difference between artful violence and real life then we ought to build a bunker and never leave.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Desensitizing is something that I try to be very aware of in the books I watch and the movies I own.

      You are completely right about gunfire. I have a small 9mm handgun and when I go to the range, ear protection is a legal requirement. But when some of the other people bring in their big calibre guns, I can feel it in my bones. Guns are loud, period. What we hear in movies is actually what a silenced gun is going to sound like. And the little “phht, phht” we get from silenced guns in the movies? Hahahahahaaa.

      I had never thought of John Wick as a musical, but now that you’ve pointed out the comparisons, I’m never going to unsee it. Now I’ll picture him with a brightly colored umbrella and it raining 😀

      The problem is, more and more people aren’t understanding the difference. And that is why you get the whole Prepper movement. They’re just waiting for the Idiot Masses to go too far. Heck, I’d build a bunker if I could 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The problem with prepping is that the nutters get all the publicity. I’m talking about the folk who are not worried by catastrophe; they actually dream about it happening.

        I don’t keep about a month’s worth of canned food in the house, along with a portable gas cooker. I don’t have a power bank for my mobile phone, a cheap, battery radio and a stock of batteries. Under the sink, in a plastic box, I don’t keep some candles, a cigarette lighter and a box of matches. Finally, I don’t have cash on hand because I won’t need it. I’m pretty confident that I could prep all I like but minutes after the first bomb my neighbours would turn up wearing spiked leather shoulder pads and Human skin masks and I would regret not building a moat…A compound crossbow and a plentiful supply of bolts might be a good alternative for Portugal, because you don’t need a firearms licence and they’re silent. Perfect for slaughtering your neighbours and former friends in a post-apocalypse world…

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yep, the crazy ones get the attention. But being prepared for 2 weeks is just common sense in my opinion. Heck, I’m prepared for about a month, even with medications. Well, except for ammo. But that stuff is expensive!

          After that, well, things would have get really bad, bad enough that I’d be dead anyway 🙂 So a month is my limit.

          When things go sideways, I’ll be looking for posts from you detailing how things are going 😉

          Maybe you’ll turn into the “Portuguese Arrow” and countless generations will write stories about you and make comic books and movies about your stealthy exploits. Something to look forward to, right?


          Liked by 2 people

          1. We don’t have guns here. If you had, reloading time would mean I might get a hit on one neo-cannibal before I’d end up in the pot….Only if they decide to run for it and are quicker than me. A club or a knife is also fine, otherwise. The kiddies are more tender, easier to butcher and don’t need so much cooking…Another great idea: charging the mobile phone. That way I’ll be able to keep up with how everyone else is dealing with the apocalypse on Facebook…LMAO!!!

            The full on apocalypse stuff at least has some internal sense to it in the US. You get your apocalypse kit including half the armery of an ex Warsaw Pact state and practice how to use your long, powerful tools…In Portugal you’d get some bloke who looks like the league of gentlemen trying to fight off feral youth with a bread knife tied to a snooker cue….LMAO AGAIN!!!

            Liked by 2 people

            1. That’s why I have multiple magazines and Mrs B can load them for me as I pop off the mutants 🙂
              I’m telling you, the apocalypse is going to be “live”. As long as every server hasn’t gone down (like what happened in Puerto Rico), some idiot will be using their cell phone right up until they die.

              Breadknives and cue sticks. I guess you have to work with what you have on hand And if you look good doing it, why NOT dress up in a suit 😀 😀 😀

              Liked by 1 person

                1. Sure! That’s a big deal here. If we lost both our cars at once, we’d be totally behind the 8 ball.
                  Even unexpectedly losing one would be really bad.

                  But how do you prep for a breakdown? Does it make funny noises or something?

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. Ohhhhh, gotcha. A globalized car breakdown. Now I understand.

                      Good for you for being prepared for that. Nothing says “I’m ready for the carpocalypse” like a backyard full of bulldozers 😀

                      Liked by 1 person

  2. I still haven’t gotten to watching these two movies and after reading your summaries of them, I don’t think I want to. I’ll put it on the backburner 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If violence and profanity are things you can’t, or won’t, handle, then you’re making the right choice for sure!

      I’ll be honest, if I had kids, I wouldn’t let them watch those movies while living under my roof.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I most certainly did. Can’t stand that clown.
      I disagree with his philosophy of entertaining through humor using martial arts. I don’t find it amusing or humorous at all.


  3. I quite enjoyed Boondock Saints a long, long time ago. It’s a B class movie and it never aspired to be anything but. Still, after that Past Due Review I thought back to that movie and concluded that I probably wouldn’t enjoy it now. But John Wick I admire for sheer artistic value 😉 To me it’s more like a ballet instead of tap dancing, however that analogy brings to the fore an interesting aspect of that movie – it’s pure escapist entertainment designed to look perfectly and in that it simply excells.

    Desensitization is another topic entirely, though! There’s a lot of data showing that it’s a real problem these days. It’s easy to sum up John Wick as “a movie about a guy who methodically and graphically kills everything that moves in a suicidal mission of revenge for his dead dog” – it would be totally missing the point IMO, but hey, a lot of people do that quite regularly 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ballet, tap dancing, it’s all people moving around trying to look pretty 😉

      I know you said its been a while since you watched Saints, but do you know how long? Would it be something you’d try again just to check? Or do you want to leave the good memories as they are?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Huh, I guess it was a decade or more ago… I don’t want to spoil the good memories of goofy/stupid fun. I remember that the movie had some pretty bad moments (all of Rocco, for example) but the upside-down shooting scene seemed quite funny then 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    2. O, c’mon, it’s one of the best B-movies ever 🙂 I’m always up for a re-watch of Boondock Saints. Wick I also enjoyed, but for completely different reasons – as you say, ‘sheer artistic value’. Are they really comparable? Different times, different budgets, different genres…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Godzilla is a good B-movie. Boondoggle, ehhhh. I can’t move past the whole”amateur thugs”. That gets me every time.

        If you can overlook it and it doesn’t bother you, then I could see this being fun. And maybe if John Wick had never been made to compare it to, but oh well.

        Amateurs vs Professionals 😀 😀 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Even back then Rocco was a highly irritating factor, and I thought that Defoe’s role was much over the top. But the fake Irish accents and the sheer goofy craziness of the story plus some well-made action scenes were fun 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  4. I thought I watched ‘Boondock Saints’ but now I am not so sure anymore. Maybe I watched parts of it? When I was doing night shifts in a hotel, I had this small TV and watched LOTS of weird movies, while trying not to fall asleep 😀 Could have been one of them. I know that I DEFINITELY watched ‘Sharknado’ at some point… anyways…

    I see what you mean with them being amateurs and just being lucky most of the time.. and then you have John Wick, who is a professional badass.. I probably would prefer a John Wick character as well. Someone who knows what he’s doing. Otherwise it’s not believable for me. That being said, I am not really big on pure action movies, there’s only a couple I like.

    I DO enjoy Jackie Chan movies though 😀 My brother is a massive fan and I think he watched every movie he ever made several times. He loves martial arts.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’d never heard of the Saints movie. I’ve seen both John Wick movies, enjoying the first one quite a bit, and the second one somewhat less.

    I’ve been planning to put up a review for a lesser-known action movie with a lot of shooting which reminded me of John Wick. There are so many Wick fans in the blogging community, maybe I need to move that review up in my queue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess there is also a Saints 2 movie, but I had zero desire to check it out.
      I bought John Wick but held off on 2 until I see how 3 turns out. I might end up just pretending that John Wick is a standalone movie, much like the Matrix was.

      I’m all for moving that movie review up the queue!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m a huge fan of Dafoe, and I know you didn’t like him in Boondock Saints, but I actually thought he was great in it, just because he went all out and took on a role that was quite unexpected of him (at the time, anyway). Even though the movie was kind of cheesy 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What’s incredible, to me anyway, is that I didn’t notice much difference between Dafoe, physically, in both movies. You’d never know they were almost 20 years apart. I know hollywood can do wonders with makeup, but still….


  7. Since I saw neither of those movies, I cannot offer any insight except this, that any time I saw they were being aired on some channel or other I never felt the curiosity to see what they were about – and now that your post described the high content of senseless (?) violence in both of them, I think I know why. Maybe I don’t just enjoy “book vibes”, but also “movie vibes”, and they warn me of impending danger! 😀 😀
    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hmm that’s a really good question- sometimes movies have all the same ingredients, but work better in one case and not the other. I really get what you mean about the humour bringing down the tone of a movie in some instances. And yeah, making them feel amateurish and stupid won’t make me root for the heroes. It’s far better to have heroes that get out of situations thanks to their own wit or something we can root for. And it always helps to have a character with consistent internal logic. It does sound like John Wick is better (though I’ve not seen either- I do want to watch John Wick at some point though). Very interesting comparative post!


  9. Sort of still laughing that you called Jackie Chan a bozo hahahah I didn’t know there were people out there who actually disliked him. 😛 As for Boondock Saints, I was too young to remember the movie anymore, but I totally agree that John Wick’s professionalism, quality choreography and cinematography would easily make it a better movie in general compared to anything that is remotely similar. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t dislike Chan as a person, and I think he’s a good actor and a great martial artist, but I can’t stand humor and martial arts mixing and since I’ve seen enough interviews, etc with him stating that that is his underlying acting philosophy, well, it makes it hard to like anything he does.

      After these various comments about Wick being a musical, a dance, a ballet, etc, etc, I want to go back and watch it again with an eye towards the choreography. I don’t normally pay attention to that kind of things in movies, but here? I guess I’ll call it my kind of musical 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m a fan of all three films. I liked the farce of Boondock Saints, which was meant to be stupid. The sequel played that up more, with cut-aways and dream sequences inserted into scenes, including this:

    Wick was a breath of fresh air in action movies. For once we have a Hollywood film that isn’t doing rapid cuts to hide actors who can’t fight, we have well thought out fights that feel painful and real, and at no point is there a lack of consequences. Compare that to just about any other big action film where most of the deaths are cannon fodder (I commented in my review of the Total Recall remake that they literally have the genocide of a robot army John Wick was meant to be hard hitting and nailed it.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. And see, just like with Chan, I have a hard time with violence as farce. It goes completely over my head or I end up hating it because it’s not serious and whatnot. I don’t have a problem with violence as violence. I guess I just don’t like when it is made light of by humor, etc.

      And thanks for the heads up about BD2. I was considering watching it to compare it to JW2, but your paragraph saved me. I appreciate that 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I never gave much thought to Boondocks Saints, but think I largely agree.

    John Wick is kinda comic booky – he’s got style and he’s a professional badass. Everyone loves a bad guy who’s reformed and tried to turn his life around, right (Unforgiven)? The works itself has a mystique and there’re a lot of interesting elements.

    Boondock Saints is, yeah, a couple of incidental vigilante guys killing other bad guys. Not bad action but not much more to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad I could help you think about it 😀
      Things like this are what’s really important you know.

      I never thought about the whole “reformed” side of things, but that definitely helps polish Wick from just a psycho nut…

      Liked by 1 person

  12. The boondock saints is a good movie and here’s why, a couple of brothers with a dad that has a legacy in being a killer similar to john wicks get involved by accident into a mafias business then get attacked and take it personal, they are professionals because if they weren’t they wouldn’t have the connections they do and they wouldn’t have the skill to take on a mob boss, you can call it whatever you’d like but it would take more than luck to take down a mob boss both john wick and the boondocks saints prove that, next comedy can be involved anywhere they are brothers so they are going to have jokes and things to say but that doesn’t mean they aren’t taking it serious they would have to be it is both their family and their faith, my brother and I laugh off getting hurt and getting into fights, granted its killing not childhood fights but still, john wick is a heavier movie than boondock saints therefore he will take it more serious, that doesn’t mean assassins can’t have fun, just ask Deadpool, this is all my opinion so take it how you will but I respectfully disagree with your point of view on boondock saints


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