When movies embargo reviews until Friday and barely host any Thursday night screenings, you know something’s wrong. “Proud Mary” is supposed to be an entertaining feminine version of “John Wick,” but it ends up becoming a run-of-the-mill action movie.
It starts off promising, but then cheap, uninsured, routine things begin to happen. The movie has the potential to be good, but in the end, it could not.
Taraji P. Henson (who also produced it) stars as Mary, an assassin, who is like a daughter to her boss (Danny Glover), and wants to get out of the job. Don’t all movie assassins? She ends up taking care of a troubled kid named Danny (Jahi Di’Allo Winston), whose father was murdered by her, and ends up working as a drug mule for a Russian gangster named Uncle (Xander Berkeley). Mary finds him, and wants to make things right; so she takes the kid in, and murders Uncle for his protection.
She has one rule for Danny: “Stay out of my room.” Of course, he has to go in (because when you tell a person not to go in a certain room, they have to go to see why it’s forbidden), and find all her weapons. He’s curious to know what she does for a living. And a war between the two crime families is on the way, and Mary and Danny both end up in danger. You let Mary handle them.
I liked Henson and Winston, but “Proud Mary” ends up becoming another disappointing action movie this weekend. Its story is routine, the bullets fly too much, and some of the dialogue is kind of lousy. It lacks the bullets that “John Wick” has.
The movie was directed by Babak Najafi, who also made the CGI-overstuffed action sequel “London Has Fallen.” Here, he has another turkey, and unless good things pop up for him in the future, I don’t know if I could trust him with a James Bond movie.