Sometimes, disposable B-movies can be refreshing. You rent them on impulse with low expectations. Typically, if the first 30 minutes don’t drum up enough drama, you search for something else. “Red Stone” director Derek Presley’s “Boon” (*** OUT OF ****) qualifies as an exception. Mind you, this nitty gritty crime saga won’t garner any Oscars.

The seasoned cast looks convincing, but they’re far from glamorous. Nevertheless, this predictable, low body count fracas packs a wallop. A despicable ring of lowlife hoodlums are blackmailing a preacher’s widow, Catherine (Christiane Seidel of “Human Capital”), so they can dig a mysterious tunnel on her property to move mysterious ‘cargo.’

The ‘cargo’ turns out to be AR-15 rifles. Seems our heroine’s dearly departed husband violated one of the Bible’s Ten Commandments, and the bad guys are taking advantage of Catherine. Our vulnerable mom, who took over her husband’s ministry, emerges as a classic damsel in distress.

Basically, she doesn’t want to know the grimy details. She fears the depraved Mr. Fitzgerald (Tommy Flanagan of “Braveheart”) will implicate her in her husband’s wrongdoing if she refuses to cooperate.

Our plain Jane heroine struggles to protect her timid son. The story is straightforward, and face-to-face clashes spark the violence. You won’t see any extravagant vehicular mayhem either on land or lake. The low budget look of “Boon” lends it an aura of plausibility.

Slow-burn from start to finish, this ominous little thriller explodes during its final quarter hour with a bullet-riddled finale involving a trigger-happy gang of goons with assault rifles.

Character actor Neal McDonough plays Nick, a gunsel who has spent more time doing evil rather than thwarting it. Boon and Fitzgerald clash like titans. A legendary cinematic villain, Flanagan plays Fitzgerald as a predator without compunctions. Sadly, Jason Scott Lee of “Dragon:

The Bruce Lee Story” makes an early appearance and then disappears without a trace. This tense, 95-minute outing unfolds in the great Northwest, but it could have taken place anywhere.

Incidentally, “Boon” is a sequel to Presley’s earlier epic “Red Stone.” However, you need not see the latter movie to enjoy the former. Basically, Boon is an inconspicuous assassin on the dodge who can hide in plain sight and surprise you when you least expect him. Like John Wick, Boon has caught his share of lead during his career.

During the opening scene, our protagonist has taken refuge in a small town on the border between Canada and Washington. No sooner has this devout Catholic left a church than he spots somebody on his tail.

Cruising off into the woods in his late-model Chevy pick-up, Boon stops and parks in the road. Meantime, an executioner named Killa (Jason Scott Lee) stops and is attaching a silencer to his automatic pistol, when Boon emerges from his pick-up. Boon wounds Killa before he can exit his BMW sedan.

The two combatants plunge into the wilderness and exchange gunfire. Boon catches a bullet in the belly. Later, he awakens and finds himself in Catherine’s house. Good Samaritan that she is, Catherine has cleaned his wound and given him painkillers. Later, when Fitzgerald’s hoodlums arrive unexpectedly at Catherine’s house to harass her, Boon slips out without attracting attention.

Stumbling back to his own nearby cabin, Boon removes the bullet and passes out. Eventually, once he has recovered, our protagonist resumes chopping his own fire wood. One of Fitzgerald’s sordid henchmen, Pryce (John Patrick Jordan of “Dog Eat Dog”), lusts after Catherine. When she swings an ax at this ruffian, Pryce confiscates it with ease and tries to rape her. Appearing with impeccable timing, Boon cools Pryce’s ardor with a shovel.

Fitzgerald isn’t prepared for Boon. Meanwhile, his sadistic daughter-in-law, Emilia Fitzgerald (Christina Ochoa of “Blood Drive”), wants to liquidate Boon. Fitzgerald doesn’t want corpses cluttering up the scenery, so he stalls Emilia.

She loses her patience after Boon kills one of her toadies. Our protagonist is an assassin who can improvise. Snatching an ordinary kitchen spoon from a cereal bowl, he wields it like a dagger and stabs an unsuspecting villain repeatedly in the neck with it! While Boon is lending Catherine a hand, a tenacious FBI agent from Washington, D.C., Agent Redd (Demetrius Grosse of “Rampage”), has been shadowing him, waiting for the right moment to arrest him.

Unfortunately, Fitzgerald’s cronies are constantly getting in Redd’s way. “Boon” is the kind of actioneer that Charles Bronson or Clint Eastwood might have knocked out in the 198os. Although you can guess what happens every time, “Boon” delivers the inevitable with such panache that is exhilarating to watch. The face-off between Catherine and Emilia during the finale will have you howling for Emilia’s blood, while poor Catherine grovels miserably in the mud at Emilia’s feet. Altogether, “Boon” amounts to more of a boon than a bane.





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