Geek Review: Proud Mary

Seeing as how I had a three day weekend, I saw some movies over that period, two of which I actually enjoyed.

But one of those days was for the Taraji P. Henson movie Proud Mary, where the star of Hidden Figures played a hit woman.  Why go see that, seeing as it is a January release?

Two words:  morbid curiosity.

Plus, MoviePass means I can feel like I didn’t pay to see it myself.

The movie opens with some 70s style opening credits as Mary (Henson) gets ready to go to work.  She exercises, takes a shower, puts on her make-up, puts on some leather, grabs some guns and, for some reason, a platinum blonde wig and heads off where she finds a guy in his apartment.  He’s about to answer his cell phone, Mary tells him not to answer, and she shoots him in the head.  Then she finds a young boy in the next room, wearing headphones and playing video games.  Mary breaks down crying, checks out a photo of the kid, and leaves without another word.

The movie is all downhill from there as it flashes forward one year and Mary is following the kid around, looking to, I dunno, help him?  The boy, named Danny, has fallen into working for a local Russian drug dealer, but Mary scoops him off the street, and then goes to talk to the dealer.  Mary’s boss, indeed the man who more or less raised her, is a crime boss named Benny (Danny Glover, whose performance is a notch or two below “phoning it in” since he couldn’t seem more disinterested if he tried).  Normally reliable Neal McDonough is there as another of Benny’s underlings.  He plays good psychos.  He also has about three lines and two minutes of screentime.  Much of Mary’s conflict comes from Benny’s son Tom (Billy Brown), a former lover of Mary’s who now just rubs her the wrong way.

I went into this movie knowing it was probably bad.  It was.  Henson shows a lot of steel, trying to lift something out of this movie that at 88 minutes still feels too long.  Why did Mary cry when she saw young Danny the first time?  How did Danny know where Benny worked?  And more importantly, why should we care?  Even the action scenes felt silly at best, including one where the speed of everything was slowed down, not in a way that worked, but in a way to suggest no one was in a hurry.  The idea of an action movie starring Henson intrigued me more than anything else, and that was why I went at all.  The final product just didn’t work.  Four out of ten Russian mobsters who don’t know their own house as well as the hit squad invading it.

tomk74

Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

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