Monday, April 02, 2018

'Proud Mary' Is a Fun but Otherwise Forgettable Action Movie

Proud Mary is an action thriller that centers on Mary Goodwin (Taraji P. Henson), a professional hit woman for an organized crime family in Boston.  When she learns that a boy orphaned by one of her jobs has been undergoing maltreatment, she decides to take him under her wing, which understandably complicates her life.

You will be justified in presuming that Tina Turner’s version of “Proud Mary” is going to play sometime during this movie.  It’s pretty evident that the title is based on the song.  It’s as if the filmmakers and/or executives were like, “Hey, here’s a great idea: let’s name the main character ‘Mary.’  So that we can title the movie Proud Mary.  You know.  Like the Tina Turner song.  Yeah.  Then we’ll use it as soundtrack.  We’re so clever!”

Eye-rolling yet amusing.
Anyway, Taraji P. Henson is great.  Her doing a solid job in an action role isn’t really a surprise for those who watched the TV series Person of Interest (I started watching it last year, but I’m still far from finishing it.  Got stuck at season 2).  She’s easily the best thing about this movie.  Remove her charismatic presence, and this movie won’t be much worth a glimpse.

The movie is honestly nothing special.  It feels like a by-the-numbers action movie that is made a bit more desirably intriguing than the rest of the crop because of Henson on the lead role, its old-school blaxploitation stylishness, and its subtle vibes of being a female, black version of John Wick (but not really).  At the core, it’s unremarkably conventional, from the narrative down to the action sequences.
That said, Proud Mary is fun.  It’s eventually forgettable all in all, but while it’s being watched, it will entertain.

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