Taraji P. Henson - Proud Mary

‘Proud Mary’ Review by Brian Gunn

Wassup, y’all? Proud Mary, keep on shootin’!

“Proud Mary” stars Taraji P. Henson, Jahi Di’Allo Winston, Billy Brown and Danny Glover. Henson plays Mary, a hit-woman working for an organized crime family. She gets a young kid named Danny out of a jam but in doing so, creates a shytload of chaos and trouble for herself. Now, the marketing for this film (or lack thereof which I’ll get into later) had me believing “Proud Mary” was going to be an all-out action extravaganza. Well, Proud Mary Mary was quite contrary to what I anticipated.

“Proud Mary” isn’t bad. Any time you hear someone say something isn’t bad, you also know it ain’t good. Henson puts this movie on her back and carries it – somewhere. As far as performance goes, she embodies the perfect hit-woman when the script allows her. The problem is that this movie goes in different directions. When that happens, her character is forced to carry too much baggage. One minute she’s fearless, the next minute she’s fragile, the next minute she’s a nurturer, the next minute she’s a cold-blood assassin. Her range is extraordinary, but it dilutes what could’ve been one of the dopest measuring-stick action movies for others that will come out this year. Her and Winston’s chemistry is very emotional. If he looks familiar, it’s because he also played a young Ralph Tresvant in the B.E.T “New Edition” TV movie. Their storyline is paramount to the film and these two don’t disappoint. The disappointing factor lies in the writing. Yeah, “Proud Mary” has some cliché moments but so have other recent action movies so I’m not going to punish them for that. I’m putting this movie in timeout because it gets lost and then tries to tie up loose ends much, much later without thorough explanation. Vital scenes change constantly in the 2nd act without any plausible resolution. Mary finds herself in predicaments which shouldn’t have been written in the script to begin with. As for the action, it’s almost stagnant in the 1st and 2nd act. Henson and Billy Brown have dope action sequences, here’s what happens, though; right after those sequences comes mood-changing tone shifts that bring your adrenaline levels to a screeching halt. Ain’t nobody got time for that! You have these stellar fight scenes and gunplay, but not enough. “Proud Mary” tries to make it up to us with an amazing 3rd act, but even the climax falls a little short. The acting will make you proud, but the lack of action and average writing will make you say, “Mary Mary, why you buggin’?”

As I said, “Proud Mary” isn’t a bad movie. It had the potential to be a GREAT movie, one that would’ve catapulted Henson into a major action-movie heroine. I blame the writers so they’ll have to hold the L for that. Sony also needs to hold an L for marketing. Listen, if you’re going to produce a film, market it the same way you would any other film. If you don’t have faith in the movie, why make it in the first place? I can actually answer that, but we’ll be here all day. Anyway, having an African-American leading lady in an action film would’ve changed the game had the action film been spectacular. I’m tired of seeing romantic comedies and suspense thrillers reserved only for black female leads but looks like we’ll be seeing more of them.

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you to hurry up and check this out because it’s more emotion and less action. Henson delivers a solid performance, so I’m giving “Proud Mary” a Morning/Midday co-sign. Miss Mary Mack Mack Mack was dressed in black black black, and she saved this movie movie movie from being seriously wack wack wack!

Watch the trailer below.

Did you see the film?