The Boondock Saints Essay

2502 words - 10 pages

The film The Boondock Saints tells the story of Connor and Murphy MacManus, two Irish brothers, who accidently kill two mafia thugs. They turn themselves in and are released as heroes. They then come to view it as a calling from God to cleanse the crime-ridden streets of Boston. They believe that they are called to “destroy all that is evil so that which is good may flourish.” Following this moral reasoning, the brothers begin knocking off some of Boston’s worst criminals one by one. By targeting big time mobsters in major organized crime circles they attract the attention of FBI detective, Paul Smecker. As he investigates the crimes he comes to question the actual urgency and importance of catching these “saints.” The closer he comes to catching the brothers the more he believes that they are doing the right thing. This poses an ethical dilemma for the FBI, police, and detectives featured whose jobs are to help bring criminals to justice, because in a way the brothers are doing just that.
Although killing is traditionally seen as a sin, religion is portrayed as the reason behind the MacManus brothers’ violent vigilantism. The film even opens with the brothers attending Mass, immediately emphasizing the value they place on religion. The line of morality is blurred because although the brothers are committing murder, they are getting rid of criminals who steal, rape, and kill innocent people on the regular. In the film’s opening scene, the brothers kneel to pray at the alter as the priest speaks aloud, “Of course we must fear evil men, but there is another evil that we must fear more… and that is the indifference of good men.” This line serves as a good theme for the film as the law enforcement officials come to see Connor and Murphy’s actions as serving justice.
After the initial investigation of the first crime and the brothers turn themselves in, Agent Smecker takes Connor and Murphy into an interrogation room to question them. He informs them that the conversation will be recorded. Before the recording begins, however, the brothers whisper in Latin to get their stories straight about the stolen guns and money. Agent Smecker is intrigued, but continues and asks them if they knew the bandaged up dead guys. They tell him what happened, beginning with their first encounter with the two mob men, and telling a story that is almost identical to the theory Agent Smecker put together by analyzing the evidence at the crime scene. Connor and Murphy fascinate Smecker: they speak five different languages. He likes the brothers and jokes with them, asking how they ended up working in a meat packing plant. Using his power of discretion, he does not hold them or charge them with anything. Turning themselves in, the criminal status of the victims, and the offenders being educated, polite, and personable are all likely factors that contributed to the decision to release. As Moskos articulates, “ Law enforcement demands discretion. Every statute on the...

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