Proud Mary (2018)

Though it wasn't one of my most anticipated movies of the year, I was interested in seeing Proud Mary. The ensemble cast is terrific and the lead is a black woman, the amazing Taraji P. Henson. Unfortunately, this film is only a huge waste of talents and potential.

Mary (Taraji P. Henson) is a reliable hit woman working for an organized crime family in Boston. When one of her targets leaves a young boy, Danny (Jahi Di'Allo Winston), orphaned, she decides to keep an eye on him. A year later, filled with guilt, she takes Danny in and tries to protect him. In the process of doing that, she kills Uncle (Xander Berkeley), the Russian drug dealer who "owned" Danny, and starts a gang war between the families.

The first problem with Proud Mary is that everything goes exactly as one would expect it to go. The plot is uninspired, clich├ęd and predictable. There are plotholes the size of the moon and some completely irrelevant subplots. It's not interesting nor engaging. It's just boring and unfocused. 

The second problem is the characters. They have very little characterization and no development whatsoever. Sure, the movie is short --thank god it's only 88 minutes-- but we barely get to know Mary. Her backstory is almost non-existent --we just get this very motherly character but why is she this way-- and overall she is dull. The other characters are just as dull and uncompelling. The villains are weak to say the least --they wouldn't even scare a wimp-- and they don't challenge Mary at all, neither physically nor intellectually. And the character of Danny is so inconsistent! One moment he is a tough street kid, the next one is a whiny kid. Because of the terrible writing, I couldn't care about any of them.

Screen Gems
Then there's the cast. Proud Mary is such a waste of talents. Taraji P. Henson is a great actress but she isn't given enough to do a good job here. She is clearly having fun, but that's not enough to carry a film that just won't keep you interested. She has a nice chemistry with Jahi Di'Allo Winston, who plays Danny, but that's it. The supporting cast looks uninterested and bored, especially Danny Glover and it's very hard to take him seriously as a hitman boss or whatever his character is. At last, How to Get Away With Murder's Billy Brown is basically a piece of wood. 

And the direction is so dull and flat. Henson is rarely given the attention she deserves, the fast pace often feels too rushed, there's no tension nor suspense whatsoever and the action sequences are not that exciting. Henson does come off as a badass though and the music, though it doesn't always feel right, is good. 

8 comments :

  1. I love Taraji P. Henson as I feel she deserves better. Especially as I was wowed by her in Talk to Me where she stole the film from everyone.

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    1. I haven't seen Talk to Me (it's on my list though) but she killed it in Hidden Figures. She definitely deserves better than this.

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  2. I feel sad for Taraji P. Henson because she seems like the kind of actress who should get better roles. And yet, she does these movies. Predicted it was going to be bad and avoided it from the start.

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    1. She is that kind of actress so, yeah, it's sad she does these movies.

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  3. Nice review! I really wanted to see this one, but the bad reviews made me stay away. Like Getter and thevoid99 said, Taraji deserves better material.

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    1. I agree with you all and the fact that she keeps doing these movies makes me so sad.

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  4. Definitely agreed on this one. So much wasted potential here, sadly. This should've and could've been MUCH better than it was.

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    1. Also, Taraji P. Henson deserved better than this. I don't get why she keeps making these films.

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