A modern twist on the blaxploitation movies of the 70’s, starring Taraji P. Henson? Uh, where do I sign?! – is what I thought when this popped up on Netflix. I can’t say it quite lived up to my expectation though.
Proud Mary (2018)
Mary is a hit woman working for an organized crime family in Boston, whose life is completely turned around when she meets a young boy whose path she crosses when a professional hit goes bad.
When Mary (Henson) pops a dude called Marcus, she’s devastated to discover he has a young son, now an orphan because of her. So much so that, a year later, she’s following him behind the scenes, keeping an eye on his movements.
When Danny, following a violent tussle with Uncle, takes a nap on a bench, he’s robbed. He tries to retrieve his stuff but concussion gets the better of him and he passes out. When he wakes up, he’s with Mary in her very nice pad. She patches him up but discovers he’s covered in scars, from new and former injuries. She demands to know if Uncle is responsible and when the answer appears to be a resounding “duh”, she runs off to teach him some goddamn manners.
Of course this doesn’t end amicably, and with Uncle shot to shit by the lovely Mary, some questions arise from the street. Like, who’s responsible and why? Mary runs with a crew headed by Benny (Danny Glover) who are blamed by Uncle’s side for the murder, assumed to be about territory.
Benny denies this and just about manages to keep peace between the warring sides by vowing to catch the person responsible for Uncle’s death. Benny’s son Tom (Billy Brown) – who is also Mary’s ex – grows suspicious of Danny hanging around with Mary and notes discrepancies in the story of where he comes from.
Meanwhile, Mary and Danny grow closer, and our girl starts to plan her escape from this life she’s built for herself. But will Benny let her go? And will Tom put two and two together – and work out the truth about Danny and Mary’s part in Uncle’s slaying?
Likewise, how will Danny take the news that Mary was the original harbinger of death, and took her father from him too soon?
Boring! This movie is so incredibly dull and it’s inexcusable given its lead actress. I mean, PM brings nothing to the table and there’s so little characterisation, I can’t believe I was expected to care about any of them. Danny’s a kid whose been through it and even he doesn’t elicit much sympathy.
Meanwhile Mary isn’t given much to work with either. There’s just no chemistry anywhere and the rival crime families are so 2D it isn’t even funny.
That’s it. I’m deeply unimpressed and perhaps the only positive thing I can say is that Henson looks fucking cool with a semi-automatic weapon… and she has a lovely bathroom.