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Proud Mary (2017) - Blu-ray Review

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Proud Mary - Blu-ray Review

Movie Review

1 star

It begins with The Temptations. You know the groove. The high-hat and then the bass guitar; both working to dig deeper.   Papa Was a Rolling Stone, after all. And while the groove sets in, we see – with retro credits flashing upon the screen – actress Taraji P. Henson as she suits up for her deadly business as an assassin working for a Boston crime family. And just like that – with a bullet to the head – Proud Mary begins.

And, for me, this is also where it ends. Seriously.

On the day the film begins, Mary Goodwin can’t pull the trigger on an extra target she wasn’t expecting for a job she was paid handsomely to complete and winds up orphaning a young boy. ONE YEAR LATER, she takes him in. Sound the alarm. This unexpected retread of Leon: The Professional goes nowhere fast.

Proud Mary, directed by Babak Najafi (London Has Fallen) and written by John S. Newman, Christian Swegal, and Steve Antin, is about her trying to seek redemption as she winds up looking after the youth. Danny (Jahi Di'Allo Winston), after the explosive beginning, is her responsibility. And she rights where he gets wronged.

"See ANYTHING Grier did in the 1970s instead of this generic crap."


This includes taking out all the greasy dirtbags that use and abuse the boy. But where the boy has been gets her in all kinds of unexpected trouble and she finds herself crossing her own bosses, Benny (Donald Glover), Walter (Neal McDonough), and Rom (Billy Brown). What follows is a free for all as Mary learns exactly what it means to fight for what is right.

Henson can kick ass. She DEFINITELY earns the part of protector extraordinaire, but too much surrounding the action of the film lacks sincerity AND style. If you are expecting a Blaxploitation throwback, you should dial that down immediately. This action flick, lacking a swagger and and a soiled atmosphere, is far too slick for its own good. It’s elegant when it should be kicking all sorts of ass in the dirtiest of ways.   Unfortunately, what that leaves this film with is directionless fodder. It’s too serious and too mundane.

I wanted Jack Hill. I wanted Pam Grier. I got neither. What I did see here is a film without an identity. It is all business and little fun. While it does have a shootout, starting in a fast-moving car, to Tina Turner’s Proud Mary blasting away in the background, the film is just a big tease for the real thing.  This means that a brisk 90-minutes comes across like a longwinded 120-minutes. Ouch.

See ANYTHING Grier did in the 1970s instead of this generic crap.

Najafi wants to be a serious director. He’s a paint-by-numbers guy, offering little in the way of excitement, and, when a script is this dull, everything he has assembled just comes across as so limp and lifeless it just might bore you to death.

Bang. Bang. Shoot. Shoot. With results this forgettable, who really cares?

Film Details

Proud Mary - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R for violence.
Runtime: 89 mins
Director: Babak Najafi
Writer: John Stuart Newman, Christian Swegal
Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Billy Brown, Jahi Di'Allo Winston
Genre: Crime | Action
Tagline: Killing for the man every night and day.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Newsflash, asshole! I am the mothering type!"
Theatrical Distributor: Screen Gems
Official Site:
Release Date: January 12, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: April 10, 2018
Synopsis: Mary (Taraji P. Henson) is a hit woman working for an organized crime family in Boston, whose life is completely turned around when she meets a young boy whose path she crosses when a professional hit goes bad.

Proud Mary - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Sony Pictures
Available on Blu-ray - April 10, 2018
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc; Digital copy; Movies Anywhere
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1, Sony Pictures handles Proud Mary, well, proudly.   The cityscapes are clean and edges are good. There is your typical blu palette to a lot of the scenes. Sometimes yellows intrude, too. Contrast is excellent, with solid and deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Flesh tones are naturally cast. The action scenes – both during the day and the night – do intensify the overall effect of the picture, which effectively enhance the excitement. It is these action scenes that deliver impressive visuals and dynamically shape the sense of natural space and effective depth. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack is charged in the surround stations and hits the lows nicely.

Supplements:

Commentary:

none

Special Features:

With looks at the plot, the action scenes, and Mary’s wardrobe, this is standard stuff from Sony. A digital copy is included.

Mary's World (6 min)

The Beginning of the End (6 min)

If Looks Could Kill (4 min)

Proud Mary - Blu-ray Review

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