Popcorn Addict: Proud Mary
Forget Oprah. Can we campaign for Taraji for 2020?!
Mary (Taraji P. Henson) is an assassin for an organization led by Benny (Danny Glover) and his son (Billy Brown; How to Get Away with Murder). Mary meets Danny, a young boy running the streets (played by the adorable Jahi Di’Allo Winston), who works for a rival gang led by Uncle (Xander Berkeley; 24). When Mary confronts Uncle about brutally abusing Danny, which leads to her assassinating Uncle and his crew. Obviously, problems ensue when others from Uncle's gang blame Benny's organization. Mary has to juggle several lies, including her previous relationship to Danny.
Taraji slayed this film! Although the plot was simple, she carried her scenes well, especially those involving Danny and Billy Brown's character. Her role as an assassin came naturally and didn't feel forced. In sum, everything I wanted out of this film, I got.
My biggest problem with the film is I wanted more action scenes featuring Mary. In the scenes, featuring assassin Mary, Taraji carried the action quite well. Her role in Proud Mary competed with other female led action movies (see Atomic Blonde and Salt). In sum, I see this film as an example of how Taraji can expand her repertoire (with proper studio backing. I didn't receive a screener for this film, but received one for the torturous The Commuter).
Also, the score of the movie was a bit heavy-handed. It was blaxploitation music without the vibe. Although I loved many of the songs featured, they were a bit in-your-face. For example, a song repeating the word "uncle" when the young man is going to see his caregiver Uncle. *eye roll* The use of Proud Mary (the song) was fun and cute, but unnecessary during an intense action scene.
Overall, this was a good entry way for Taraji (and other Black women) to enter the action movie genre. The movie was a paint-by-numbers flick, but enjoyable. Further, Taraji produced this film which also shows the caliber of artist and superstar she can be. Lastly, can we see more Billy Brown? He's perfect for these action roles and....yum. Just yum.