Today Mon Tue
It is forcast to be Mostly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on April 20, 2014
Mostly Cloudy
13°/8°
It is forcast to be Chance of Rain at 11:00 PM EDT on April 21, 2014
Chance of Rain
19°/9°
It is forcast to be Chance of Rain at 11:00 PM EDT on April 22, 2014
Chance of Rain
16°/3°

6 Comments

culture

Reel Toronto: Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day

This so-so sequel to a cult favourite was shot here, just like the original.

Toronto’s extensive work on the silver screen reveals that, while we have the chameleonic ability to look like anywhere from New York City to Moscow, the disguise doesn’t always hold up to scrutiny. Reel Toronto revels in digging up and displaying the films that attempt to mask, hide, or—in rare cases—proudly display our city.

This one was a bit of a gimme since we profiled the original The Boondock Saints way back when. That 1999 flick has taken on the air of a cult classic, which made this middling follow-up something of a “long-awaited sequel.” It was released in 2009.

It’s a general rule that sequels are rarely better than the original, and yet while Boondock Saints impressed only 17 per cent of critics on Rotten Tomatoes, Boondock Saints II scored an impressive 23 per cent. So, there you go. Way to beat the odds!

Both Boondock Saints movies are awash in their own Boston-ness, but neither did more than token shooting in Beantown. No, whatever proud place the Boondock Saints franchise might hold in the cinematic firmament, Toronto is the city most responsible.

Of course, the key to deceiving your audience if you’re shooting Toronto for another city is to throw in some grand ol’ skyline shots like this one. Isn’t Boston lovely? Well, enjoy it while it lasts.

As in the first movie, it’s the east side of downtown that handles most of the action. Right after that shot we pan down to this, complete with a Green P meter on the left.

Then the camera pans down a bit more and we catch a glimpse of Henry’s. Indeed, it’s the same Henry’s location we saw back in the first movie, on Queen East.

Then we get closer still and see a bit more of the local buildings…

…before arriving at the steps of Metropolitan United Church.

The church is a major setting, seen outside…

…and in.

But if you’re gonna make a post-Tarantino shoot ‘em up drenched in Irish Catholic imagery you need more than just a church. You need a bar, too! Enter McVeigh’s Pub, which filled the same role in the first movie. And it’s practically around the corner from the church.

Speaking of bars, we keep seeing more and more of the Silver Dollar. It’s amazing that place still has time to function given how often movies seem to shoot there. But it’s a great place to chill…

…or hold a huge shootout.

This condo is a bit hard to peg down, but it looks like the southwest corner of the Richmond Adelaide Centre.

There aren’t too many generic, cruising-around-the-city scenes, but you can definitely spot the Eaton Centre in this one.

And, hey, the movie put some money in Judd Nelson’s pocket.

The Boondock Saints films will never be called classics, but, like a pint of Keith’s, those who like ‘em, like ‘em a lot. You can dig deeper by going through director Troy Duffy’s video diaries of the Toronto shoot on YouTube, or you can take heart from the rumours circulating of a possible third movie or (gulp!) TV series.

Because we all know that if there were no inferior, on-the-cheap sequels or TV series based on movies, Toronto would hardly have a film industry at all! Come back anytime, Mr. Duffy!

CORRECTION: September 27, 2012, 4:36 PM This post originally guessed that one of the shooting locations was 1 King West, when in fact it appears to be the southwest corner of the Richmond Adelaide Centre. The post has been updated to reflect this change.

Comments

  • Anonymous

    Definitely not One King West. Wrong side of Scotia Plaza, etc.

    It’s the southwest corner of the Richmond Adelaide Centre.

    • Anonymous

      Nice catch!

    • Paul

      Agreed – you can actually see One King West in the shot (between the new and old Bank of Nova Scotia towers.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for pointing this out. The post has been corrected and updated!

  • Anonymous

    I was at the Metropolitan United Church for the filming of the crowd scenes there, it was a fun experience seeing a movie being filmed from the inside. You can even see my hat for three seconds in the final film.

  • Sinned72

    Interesting note… the shot near the top with the streetcar tracks and Green P parking, technically does not exist int hat way anymore as it is the stretch between Victoria and Church on Adelaide (right east of Toronto Street) and has since been converted to a single track configuration.