I feel like this film should have been released months ago but instead, Proud Mary got its official release into Hollywood’s graveyard…January. Proud Mary is a film that opens like a 1970s Blaxploitation film, but it isn’t. Taraji P. Henson stars as Mary, a hitwoman working for a Boston crime family. When she discovers that one of her targets has a young son who she instantly turns into an orphan, Mary is stricken with regret and decides to help the boy’s out of a life of crime, and manages to screw up everything she touches in the process.
I guess my biggest complaint about this film is how tensionless it is. All of the conflicts are caused by the protagonist. First, she kills the boy’s father turning him into a life of crime and homelessness. Then she kills the guy he was working for which setups a mob war between the two sides, she then kills some random guy to cover her tracks, which doesn’t work, and then she kills her boss, which causes her entire organization to want to try her and the kid…our hero ladies and gentleman.
This film could have been so much better if they played it up as a modern-day Blaxploitation film in the line of Foxy Brown or Coffy. Instead, we get all the cliché tropes of modern hitman/assassin films we have seen countless times. The ending is very flat as Mary deals with goons from her own organization that suddenly are so bad that shooting people they make Stormtroopers look like marksmen. It’s like you can actually see the plot shielding her as she is running through the bad guys.
The films supporting cast of Danny Glover and Billy Brown push this film into a semi-bearable flick. However, by the time we get to the end of this 88-minute adventure, you realize that Proud Mary is just a B-Movie that wastes the talent of its actors…a perfect film in January.