If you read my post on Movies I was looking forward to in 2018, you’ll know that I was excited about Proud Mary. I’ve been a huuuuge fan of Taraji P. Henson since her performance in Empire, so I just had to see Cookie kick ass!
In this pro-black action drama released 2 weeks ago, our girl plays the lead character Mary, a hit woman for an organized crime family lead by Benny (Danny Glover), her mentor and boss. Mary’s mission to kill a rival gang member orphans a young boy, who she stalks (in guilt) for over a year and tries to protect. While playing mother-hen, she kills a senior member of a rival gang.
Most critics have scored this movie poorly and it breaks my heart to have to stand with them. I was pumped at the very beginning, the workout, the knee-high leather boots and matching gloves, the guns and the wigs. But it all went out the window very fast.
Mary was boring and unoriginal, much like the whole story line to be honest, there was little Taraji could have done to make this better. She always plays a lively and black-girl-dramatic persona but here, the dialogue was a lot like watching paint dry while listening to crickets. I felt like she had to dummy down her exciting character to play this action-hero role. Zoe Saldana might have played this role better.
The story lacked a true focus with too many loose ends and so many unanswered questions that dragged forever. It was hard to decide if she was a hit-woman, a mother, a gangster or the ex.
The plot twists just kept coming, widening the scope of the movie endlessly. First, she is a murderer, then a savior. The little boy is a gamer, next he is a drug runner. Benny is her boss, next he is the enemy. Tom (Billy Brown) is a colleague, next he is her ex.
To crown it, the coincidences were too convenient. Who leaves a street teenager in their home and tells him not to go to her room? How did he just know to pull back the mirror and find her guns? For a hit-woman who has been in the game that long, Mary should have known better than to walk in and kill everyone in that room. I mean, you pick up a kid you orphaned and in 24 hours you love him enough to start a gang war? Really?
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The shooting scenes would have been entertaining if they were anything like John Wick. But the cinematography was not even close. The soundtrack was even worse. I listen for soundtracks in movies and this one just clanked on forever.
I hope Black Panther and other movies anticipated this year are much better. This took me 2-sittings to watch. In the first 30 minutes, it just felt silly really. I’m here for black movies and anything positive “for the culture” but this movie didn’t do us much justice. Movies should make actors shine but this does the exact opposite. Proud Mary is on the radar only because Taraji P. Henson is a star in it. She took Mary seriously and kicked ass in this movie so this certainly won’t ruin her career or anything. But I have to say, this just isn’t her best work.
Have you seen Proud Mary? Let me know what you think in the comments!
As always, thank you for reading!
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