Usually sequels come out because a film was a smash hit in one form or another, but in this case most viewers probably never even heard of the original film. While a cult classic, The Boondocks Saints didn't exactly knock 'em dead at the box office, but that doesn't mean that this sequel requires viewing of the previous film.
The story picks up about a decade after the fraternal twin MacManus brothers (known as the Saints and played by Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery) have exacted revenge on the Boston-based mob. After a priest is murdered in a way that imitates their ritualistic style, the pair returns to Beantown for another round of vigilantism, making new friends and enemies along the way. As with the original, The Boondocks Saints II: All Saints Day is filled with more camp than grit, but there is still plenty of action, snappy dialog and payback to keep the story moving.
When the original film showed up on Blu-ray last year it was looking pretty much as you'd expect a 10-year old film to look on Blu-ray when it wasn't given first class treatment. In other words good, but not the most stunning film for HD. That said this follow-up actually is a step up. Think of it like a gangster who has honed his skills and mastered the trade. The 1080p 2.35:1 presentation is wicked clear to use some Boston vernacular. There is some graininess in some sequences, but nothing that detracts too much and you can clearly make out the numerous tattoos that grace the virtuous brothers.
These boondocks deliver no small amount of booming. In fact, this is one of those sound tracks that can truly be described as hot. The music unfortunately overwhelms the dialog at some points, and the action sequences are a bit too pumped up with the 5.1 DTS-Master Audio. If you want the neighbors to think there is a shootout in your living room this one will deliver. The surround sound is very good however, and other than the music being a bit too much, there is a reasonable amount of discrete sound effects coming through the various speakers. When the audio cues aren't too strong the dialog comes across quite clear, which is helpful considering the Irish accents (which are a bit overdone by the non-Irish actors).
The sequel lacks some of the behind the scenes drama of the original film, and the extras will help you get a sense of what it took to bring this one out - albeit about a decade later! In addition there are filmmaker and cast commentaries, deleted scenes and an interview with director Troy Duffy and supporting actor Billy Connolly, as well as a sequence on film's arrival at Comic Con and a detailed look at the weapons used in the movie.
Boondock Saints II is more camp than a Guy Ritchie film, and what it lacks in grit and colorful characters, is more than made up for with some truly impressively choreographed action sequences. The film looks and sounds good on Blu-ray, and about the only final complaint is that it has become yet another sequel that seems designed primarily to turn one interesting film into a trilogy. Maybe the brothers should have stopped while they were alive if not ahead.