Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 35m
Director(s): Derek Presley
Writer(s): Neal McDonough, Derek Presley
Cast: Neal McDonough, Tommy Flanagan, Jason Scott Lee, Christina Ochoa, James Madio, Demetrius Grosse, Gabrielle Carteris, Christiane Seidel, Pat Monahan, John Patrick Jordan, Jake Melrose
Where To Watch: coming to digital on May 22, 2023, from 101 Films
RAVING REVIEW: Here, we get an action film that is, by the numbers, starring the dynamic Neal McDonough, who fills the multi-dimensional shoes of BOON in the follow-up to 2021’s RED STONE. Director Derek Presley retakes the helm in this continuation (that I didn’t know was a continuation) and shows a more grounded version of an action “hero.” Someone who isn’t necessarily a good guy but knows who to fight for when push comes to shove. There’s something to be said for a sequel that doesn’t need to rely on the first film and can stand alone (although I am curious about RED STONE now!)
Boon is a hardened contract killer who's decided to turn his back on his dubious past. However, instead of becoming the hunter this time, he's now the prey. Boon's quest for severing ties with his dark past puts him on the run, ultimately leading him to the serene surroundings of the Pacific Northwest. Here, he encounters Catherine, a role brought to life by Christiane Seidel. She's a firm and devoted preacher and a widow, steadfast in her determination to keep her son Elijah away from the clutches of a ruthless crime boss Mr. Fitzgerald (Tommy Flanagan), and his violent gang.
Despite their combined efforts to stay under the radar and maintain a quiet life, the menacing shadows of the underworld Boon attempted to escape have slowly crept into his newly found haven. Faced with the grim reality that his deadly skills may be their only shot at survival, he's asked to don once again the shoes of that ruthless killer he has so longed to separate himself from.
Presley's narrative prowess presents Boon in various lights; this relentless force can effortlessly switch from having profound spiritual exchanges with Katherine to standing his ground against a mob when needed. This striking contrast crafts an extraordinary lead character - a man grappling with his principles and a lawbreaker seeking redemption, all while trying to safeguard innocence.
BOON's plot ties together a string of lives under demanding circumstances, illuminating timeless truths and more than its fair share of action film cliches. It captures the portrait of a remorseful hitman striving to maintain balance amid life's most challenging questions.
I was shocked at the general reviews of this film; I know that this isn’t a groundbreaking film, but I enjoyed it. I could sit back and have fun watching this take on an action movie. The slow-burn style was engaging. I don’t know if this was a budgetary or intentional issue, but it worked for me. The story, although predictable, had a fun payoff in an action-packed finale that I thought wrapped it up nicely but also left the door open for more adventures in this world.
Presley showcases his narrative style by avoiding repetition, creating a journey for these characters that is consistently captivating and dynamic.
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[photo courtesy of 101 FILMS]