John Henry review by Bobby Blakey
Despite his towering impressive frame, Terry Crews has established himself in Hollywood as a funny man. He is one of those likeable funny guys who just makes you smile in everything he is in. While he did make a turn in action in the Expendable franchise he still had his fun and laughs intact, but his latest film John Henry looks to take him in a different direction. Could this new take on the famed story bring the hammer down on the bad guys or will it fail to hit the nail on the head?
John Henry follows ex-gang member John Henry who is a quiet man with a violent past. When two immigrant kids on the run from his former South Los Angeles gang leader stumble into his life, John is forced to reconcile with his past in order to try and give them a future. I have to admit I was excited to see Crews in a role like this waiting for him to bring the pain and while he does eventually it takes a while to get there. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing I guess I just got excitable to see him flex on the bad guys.
The story is pretty simple and reminds me of the action flicks of the 80s and 90s with the strong silent hero with a dark past forced into helping someone. The update to the ideal of the John Henry character works well and would be one that would be great to see him grow into a franchise of sorts with him cleaning up the mean streets. Crews is great in the role, bringing a silent power to the role where he speaks very little but says a lot. The supporting cast including Ken Foree and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges both are fine with Ludacris a bit over the top and not always fitting in with this story thanks to his bizarre face prosthetic.
I was a bit bummed that there wasn’t as much action as I had hoped, but the buildup of heart and story for John Henry works for something bigger. It makes you care despite it not always making sense to why he is risking so much. This is one of those straight to home entertainment type films that offers up pretty much what you would expect, but its Terry Crews that elevates it to something so much more. Add to the mix Rap legend DJ Quick bringing some music to the fold and you have a good urban action flick worth checking out.
Decide for yourself and check out this new legend of John Henry currently on Netflix.