For the last few weeks
? (who can tell when every Darth Cheeto Scandal makes a day feel like a month) Twitter has been ablaze about the lack of promotions and support for the Taraji P. Henson led action thriller Proud Mary.
Ira summed it up best in this piece. Click the pic for a direct link.
With a supporting cast featuring Danny Glover, Billy Brown, Margaret Avery, and Neal McDonough, it’s hard to understand why the film received such little love. Critics acknowledged there was a lack of press showings of the film meaning the earliest reviews came on the night the movie was released. As I sought information about the film, one of my good friends reminded me how no one expects films with Black women leads to do numbers. “I mean, look at Girls Trip” she said.
Meanwhile, I was making this face at the fact that she was right:
I didn’t want her to be.
So, while I’m sure everyone who specializes in film will say they hated the movie, I’m here to share four reasons why I loved it. Keep in mind I 1. have no idea who directed, 2. am not a trained film critic, 3. I don’t think it Oscar worthy, but I think it existence worthy, and 4. am willing to admit I liked Halle’s Catwoman because it made me laugh. So take alluhdis with a grain ‘o salt.
1. Mary (Henson) has that “Dope Auntie Vibe” Down
I saw some review before I went in that blabbed on about Henson and the kid in the film not having chemistry. Tbh, that must’ve been a white person. I got cool auntie/ “you gon’ learn today” teas from them and I will not stand down on this. This is a film, with a young Black boy, who was selling dope for a white guy, and has no idea who to trust. No, he and Henson aren’t going to be #besties in the beginning. I’m probably more standoffish with my own family (#ohwhale). But as the movie went on I got the sense of community that made it believable this kid had it rough. But what do I know,? I just grew up poor.
2. Mary’s Strength is Her Liability
This movie exists because the subtext was that there’s some part of her (Mary) own story she saw in the kid. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t take a vested interest in people I meet who remind me of myself. At the same time, the kid nearly got her killed. I never bought the whole “motherly love” thing that I felt the film tried to force. Tom (Brown) rightfully called this out. But one need not be a mother nor motherly to love. Mary stuck her neck out for this kid because he was her before the #glowup. I can’t blame her. Any kid with guts to pull guns like that? Keep em.
3. Danny Glover A.K.A. “Benny” as a Crime Boss
Benny? Whet! I was born in 1990, so my early and most memorable Danny Glover film is of course Angels in the Outfield. The idea that this same guy, my TV uncle could somehow run a crime family? No way? Way. Somehow, Glover did a darn good job convincing me he was bout that life. But like most people in old age, he was tired of having to be. I bought into the idea that he didn’t want drama because he was in his golden years– ain’t nobody got time for mess at this age.
4. Billy Brown’s Bawwwdy.
JUDGE ME NOT. Brotha Billy has spent some serious time in the gym and it is paying. oawf. Looking at the tight clothes on his body was enough for me to pay 10.00. Whew. In all seriousness, I liked the chemistry between him and Henson. Her character, Mary, was supposed to have some sort of past with this guy and not want anything to do with him romantically and they did a good job convincing me that they were “in this because they have to be.” But this time it wasn’t for kids, it was for work
(thank God). But maybe I just saw myself in it.
Bonus: This movie gave me London Has Fallen level drama with the shoot em up kill em up scenes.
That said, I need to look up the directors and writers of this. But I will say this– I know every line from LHF and I will not hear anything about it sucking. Fight me. I feel the same way about this movie. Let me get me (be happy) seeing a Black woman tear some stuff up. Besides, who doesn’t appreciate high powered gun fight movie that ends with a Black woman on top whilst saving a Black child. Given the fact that it’s usually some hero white guy “saving the day,” that makes the film worth existence period.
That’s all folks.
Have you seen Proud Mary? Were the action scenes enough to keep you interested
(because the script was trash)? Sound off in the comments!