Boon is such a slow burn action drama that it’s snuffed out before it gets interesting. There’s a need for more cerebral dramas with action elements, but that requires the dramatic portions actually being remotely engaging.
This is the sequel to Red Stone, the 2021 film that introduced audiences to Neal McDonough’s Boon. McDonough co-wrote Red Stone and Boon with director Derek Presley. Watching the first installment isn’t required viewing to quickly pick up with this chapter.
FBI Agent Redd (Demetrius Grosse) is tracking Boon and learns from an informant that he’s more dangerous than his record indicates. Then we watch Boon stalk a would-be assassin while taking a seemingly avoidable shot in the gut. This was not the super skilled warrior we were promised.
Boon is taken in by his new neighbors, Catherine (Christiane Seidel, Boardwalk Empire), and her son, Elijah (Jake Melrose) to heal up. Catherine is a preacher, which is a novelty in this portion of Washington. In different ways, Catherine and Elijah are still grieving the loss of two family members.
Not wanting to be a burden and potentially lead other assassins to the kindly family, Boon quickly heads back to his isolated home. Boon didn’t count on Catherine and Elijah being in far more trouble before he even entered their lives.
Those deaths have put them on the hook with the area’s criminal contingent led by Mr. Fitzgerald (Tommy Flanagan, Westworld). As threatening as Fitzgerald is, it’s his daughter-in-law, Emilia (Christina Ochoa, Animal Kingdom) who’s the actual problem. The Fitzgeralds are building an underground tunnel to transport goods and the route runs through Catherine’s property.
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While Catherine would be happy to be out from under the Fitzgerald’s thumb, they continually bully her and threaten Elijah. If only a kindly hitman were to come to their aid…
It’s not hard to envision McDonough as a hard-edged assassin. With his steely cold blue eyes and neatly trimmed white hair, he looks the part. And he can play menacing and thoughtful with ease. Flanagan is a ready-made adversary with his cool, detached manner and line delivery that always hints at a threat.
Boon’s biggest problem is the pacing. The ingredients are firmly locked in for a compelling action drama. A hitman seeking solace, a widow and child in need from gangsters and a federal agent tracking him down. Somehow, the stew never quite settles in.
Most of the problem is the pacing. Presley spends too much time on nothing. Boon features a lot of staring in the distance in place of solid character development.
When it’s time for the action, Presely handles it a realistic manner. There’s no superhero shootouts with Boon emerging unscathed. Maybe the action is too realistic as Boon gets hurt in ways a seemingly competent killer would easily avoid.
The ending is amazingly messy. Fates of some wounded characters are uncertain while a major antagonist is still alive. Maybe Presely and McDonough wrote this ambiguous ending in a way to set up a third installment? If it’s a snoozy and unengaging as this chapter, it’s best to wrap Boone’s dull adventures now.
Rating: 4 out of 10
Photo Credit: Cinedigm Entertainment Group
Check out Red Stone on Blu Ray on Amazon.
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