The Hero's Journey in Film: the Boondock Saints

Topics: Monomyth, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Hero Pages: 3 (1062 words) Published: May 21, 2012
The Hero’s Journey in Film: The Boondock Saints
The idea of a clear and precise pattern that nearly all heroes follow is not something new. In fact, one of the most famous examples of a hero cycle is the one created by Joseph Campbell. In his world-renowned book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell sets up and explains how every hero follows the same basic path until he/she winds up back at the beginning and another cycle begins. “The mythical hero…is lured…to the threshold of adventure…journeys through a world of unfamiliar yet strangely intimate forces…undergoes a supreme ordeal…” and then returns back to his home either a hero and changed person or a coward and disgrace (Campbell 211). After the challenges are dealt with in some way, a transformation takes place that “signifies that the hero is a superior man” (Campbell 148). The full potential of the person has finally been revealed and he can now begin his journey home to either help his society or continue on with his life however he may choose. This theory stands strong for most pieces of literature, as well as films throughout the years. The Boondock Saints is a great example of a film which portrays the idea of a hero’s journey. In this movie, the McManus brothers confront evil in the form of corrupt mob members, overcoming obstacles such as faith and wrong versus right, finally earning the reward of freedom, therefore changing their outlook on life and elevating their reputations.

The first step of Campbell’s hero’s journey is the character’s ordinary world. In The Boondock Saints, the McManus brothers are the heroes. Connor and Murphy McManus start out as regular Irish men who live in a mob- and crime-infested Boston. They are average men, who are very faithful to their Catholic religion and work in a meat-packing plant. At this point in the film they are nothing special or extraordinary compared to any other person in Boston at this time. However, this changes soon as they witness their call...
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