review by Bobby Blakey
While she has done a ton of stuff Taraji P. Henson has made the most recent waves as her turn as Cookie Lion in the hit series Empire. Now she is trying her hand in the world of assassins in her latest flick Proud Mary co-starring Billy Brown, Neal McDonough, Xander Berkley and Danny Glover, but does it offer up some memorable action and fun or will it fail to make the hit?
Proud Mary follows Mary a hitwoman working for an organized crime family in Boston. Mary's life is completely turned around when she meets a young boy whose path she crosses when a professional hit goes awry. The trailers for this movie not only used Tina Turner’s hit song of the same name as the theme song, but had a full 70s action vibe to it so I was so happy to see the opening fully capitalizing on that same look. Sadly that is the end of that tone because once it starts it flows back into the current feel of something like John Wick with not quite the same punch.
London Has Fallen director Babak Najafi has a great idea here with this female led actioner and Taraji P. Henson is excellent in the role, but it’s the overall direction of the film that struggles. There are some action moments and when they are unleashed they are great fun to watch, but they are few and far between. The trailer gets you hyped up, but the film itself is more of a drama with action. There is so much down time with a side story that serves as the catalyst we don’t get enough of Henson bringing the pain which is a shame because she is great at it.
There are some story elements that felt too simplistic and convienent that ends up taking what could have been a great new action franchise and turned it into a generic one that is too by the numbers. With a short run time it often feels rushed and gives it no time to really build on all the elements they wanted here and in turn just limps along while you wait of the action to finally happen. The ending has a great big action sequence that seems to abruptly end with little to no impact. If nothing else this movie proves that Henson can carry an action flick so hopefully this isn’t the last time we see her test the waters.
In addition to the film this release offers up featurettes that take you behind the action of bringing this film to life. Zip up your boots and load the glock to grab your copy of Proud Mary when it hits digital on March 27th and then on Blu-ray and DVD on April 10th from Sony Home Entertainment.