Man, what a piece of crap this movie is. The plot, such as it is, involves 2 religious Irish brothers in Boston who start killing mobsters as some sort of divine exercise in vigilantism. Willem Defoe is the gay FBI agent investigating the dead mobsters. There's lots of Tarantino-inspired gunplay, all done without any of the finesse or style that Tarantino has.
So what's the problem with the movie? Mostly plot holes that suggest the writer/director has never met a gay person, cannot tell the difference between an Italian-American and Russian accent, and has never seen a cop show like C.S.I, Law and Order, or Homicide and must guess at how police investigate crime scenes.
For example, Willem Defoe arrives as an FBI mob specialist after the first murder to swipe jurisdiction away from the local cops. Interesting that the FBI knows the dead guys are Russian mobsters when the local cops have yet to identify the victims or even the method of death. The movie is full of jaw dropping stuff that any Screenwriting 101 teacher would have failed you for even putting in a first draft: Cops don't wear gloves at crime scenes. A mob enforcer who is so crazily violent that he has to attend a parole hearing in a Hannibal Lector-ish cage is paroled because someone gets a bribe. Two 20-something brothers who work in a meatpacking plant and live in a flophouse with stained matresses on the floor somehow speak 5 languages because their mother was a big believer in education. 9 deaths at once is the worst mass murder in Boston's history (I don't know what actually is the worst mass murder in Boston's history, but I'm assuming a city that's been inhabited since 1629 can do much better than a mere NINE!)... It's laughable except for the fact that people actually thought this was a good script/story.
The worst part is Willem Defoe's gay FBI guy. My theory is that when Defoe realized he was in a shitty movie with a stupid director, he decided to have some fun with the part, deliberately over-playing it because he knew the director was too dumb to know the difference between a good performance and a hammy one, as long as no one flubbed their lines or burst out laughing. So Defoe's FBI guy arrives at the crime scene, puts on gloves, puts on a walkman and starts listening to opera as he waves his arms about in a "I am becoming one with the crime scene, inspired by the music that I love, because all gay men adore classy things like opera" way. It is astonishing to me that a bartender living in LA (ie the director/writer, Troy Duffy) could have such a distorted concept of how gay men behave.
The other thing is that there's absolutely no reason for the plot to call attention to the FBI agent's homosexuality. It doesn't advance the story, and it doesn't help us know the character. Duffy has mistaken stereotypes for character development. I'm not faulting it from a Political Correctness viewpoint, it's just pointless. Even assuming the FBI hires openly gay field agents (which I doubt, but I'll let it go), how is it that they mince about crime scenes listening to opera, yet still wear ugly suits where the shirt definitely doesn't go with that tie?
There's also the problem that the brothers are apparently very religious, but never have any conflict over being vigilantes vs the whole " thou shall not kill" thing. I think this conflict might have made an interesting movie, but the script never goes there.
I haven't seen "Overnight", which catalogs Troy Duffy's infatuation with himself, but Duffy's hubris is easily apparent from his self-penned biography on the DVD extras. How did a bartender who never took a film class write such a brilliant script, you might ask Duffy? Well, when he was growing up, his father, who was a graduate of Harvard in English literature, assigned him extracurricular book reports.
Yes, kids, that's the secret of self-made screenwriting: book reports.
For more laughing at Duffy, check out this interview where Duffy is the first person in the world to discover this revolutionary method of structuring a story:
"I wrote [Boondock] in three sections. I wrote the very beginning and then I started thinking of cool shit for the middle. Then somehow between the beginning and the middle, the ending dictated itself."
The fact that there are legions of fans who think this movie kicks ass is laughable, but looking at Duffy's official site and knowing that some of these morons love the film enough to have imitated the tattoos of the film's protagonists just makes me depressed.
In happier movie news, "Shaun of the Dead" was great. I predict an American remake with Jack Black in the role of Ed.