The source of most of my problems with this film lies in the complete lack of drama. We learn through flashback about the formative events that turned the elder McManus, AKA Il Duce (Billy Connolly), into the killer that he is today. But beyond that small and rather superficial narrative, we follow the Saints doing exactly what they did in the first movie, killing lots of mafia guys. It isn’t the violence I have a problem with, it’s the fact that it was completely boring. There are no stakes in this, because they don’t have any real opposition. In the first movie, they had powerful forces working against them: the mysterious and deadly Il Duce, the brilliant Smecker (Defoe), and multiple well-armed criminal organizations. In All Saints Day, however, Il Duce along with Smecker’s protégé Agent Eunice Bloom (Julie Benz) and a few local yokel cops (the very funny Bob Marley, Brian Mahoney, and David Ferry) are all now working WITH the Saints and, instead of creating new and more menacing threats, we are left to watch them oppose and predictably overcome one underdeveloped assassin, one underdeveloped mafia boss, and one underdeveloped crime lord, not to mention any number of random mafia cronies. It just isn’t fun to watch. In the first movie they were the underdogs fighting for what they believed in against all odds; now, they have all the support they need and they can only bumble and bicker through another series of overly-choreographed fight scenes like a bunch of children fighting over their first Playboy magazine. Come to think of it, this applies to the main characters, as well as to Troy Duffy (writer/director)
I think Duffy, rather than being freed by his first film’s success and reputation, became entrapped by it. I could go through and point out the handful of interesting/hilarious moments in this film (there were some), but they get lost in the utter redundancy of the rest of the movie, whose purpose it seems is to celebrate the first film’s successes.
So, to all the fans of the first movie, let me tell you what I wish someone had told me: don’t bother with this one, or at least don’t spend your hard-earned money on it. It’s not worth the price of the popcorn.