Vigilante justice. No two words better sum up the theme of the movie, “The Boondock Saints.” They go a long way toward explaining why it’s such a popular movie, and why I can’t stand it.

But I’m a hypocrite.

After all “The Boondock Saints” is by all accounts a great man movie. It has all the necessities: beautiful women, testosterone fueled action scenes, and explosions. Men can cheer on two reluctant underdog heroes as they fight for a righteous cause.

Erik in Dublin

Me posing during a conversation in Dublin, Ireland.

To make the setup even better, the two heroes are Irishmen, just like me. So, I ought to identify with a pair of Celtic heroes, right? Unfortunately I can never seem to do that.

In one scene, Connor and Murphy MacManus shoot up some sort of strip club. I cannot help but wonder if everyone in there really deserved to die.  Many a strip club visitor has crossed my path over the years, and, frankly, the world would be a worse place with them gone.

Justifying the MacManus brothers’ killing spree is at the crux of my complaint. Maybe all those people in the strip club did deserve to die, along with all the others slain by the Irish duo. But we will never know. Without a trial there can be no confession, no punishment, no catharsis, and no rehabilitation for the criminals or the victims.

The MacManus brothers may be able to justify their actions, but any mafia member, or person connected to the MacManus brothers’ victims has the same justification. That line of reasoning could easily be extended to justify killing the MacManus brothers and creates a never ending cycle of violence.

The truth of the matter is Justice is too complex to fit through the barrel of a gun. The only thing that bullet carries is revenge, and it makes the Boondock Saints no more than common thugs.

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