Hot Take: The feel of a blaxploitation action flick of the 70s but with a total lack of anything really worthwhile to deliver anything entertaining.
Taraji P. Henson has made it! After her phenomenal work in Hidden Figures amongst others, Henson has been given a role in a terrible action picture. It’s like a rite of passage for A-list female stars. At some point, a Hollywood studio realizes an A-list female should be in an action film but then decides to give her nothing to work with and totally waste the talent. With Proud Mary, a pseudo-retro action yawn released in January which almost always spells disaster, Henson is about the only thing to stop and take a peek but no one would begrudge you if you bail before the ridiculous and obligatory third act shootout which has barely an ounce of realism.
Henson stars as Mary, a hit woman who feels guilty after killing a target who happens to have a son Danny. She tracks Danny (Jahi Di’Allo Winston) and eventually rescues him from being a drug mule by killing his boss which triggers a war between the group she works for and the group the boy’s boss was part of. Also, Mary desperately tries to get out of her job as a hit woman but her boss (Danny Glover) won’t allow it. Eventually, her boss kidnaps Danny to keep Mary under his thumb. Of course, this leads to a showdown and, well, I’ll let you guess how it ends.
Unfortunately, Henson’s talent is completely wasted here as the only thing other than Henson’s performance even worth a second of your time is the soundtrack. Even at a scant runtime of 88 minutes, Proud Mary finds a way to wear out its welcome. We’ve seen enough of the bad wigs and stilettos that typecast female assassins in these bad films to last us a lifetime. Proud Mary proves we don’t need another.
It’s January and there’s nothing else to watch.
January is over!