I am rooting for everybody Black this year, especially in film and TV. It is important that we support Black films in the opening weekend because that helps other Black films get the green light from major studios. The opening weekend numbers mean so much. It’s imperative that we show up and show out for our melanin-touched brothers and sisters. Our first Black movie of the year is Proud Mary! Full disclosure: I didn’t see Proud Mary opening weekend cuz I was busy but I made my way to the theaters to see it this past weekend.
Proud Mary is an action drama starring Taraji P. Henson, Danny Glover and Billy Brown (Annalise’s boo thang in HTGAWM). The film is about a hitwoman, Mary (Henson) working for a crime family (Glover/Brown) in some urban city (IDK). Mary’s life is turned upside down after she orphans a young boy from a hit, she was the triggerman. Mary and Danny (Jahi Winston) develop a bond and eventually, Mary wants out of the life to raise him.
By all expectations, this film should have succeeded and done well at the box office. However, according to industry standards, it failed, only grossing nearly $10M its opening weekend. But considering its lack of marketing and promotion and the fact that Sony/Screen Gems did not pre-screen the film for critics or have an aggressive press junction, it did ok.
Sony is being accused of burying the film because Henson is a Black woman and pandering to the stigma that movies with a strong Black female lead do not do well in the box office. I don’t think this was an attempt to bury Henson because she is Black or that they didn’t know how to market her. Sony, out of all of the other major studios, has a track record of producing and distributing more Black movies than other major studios. I am also not sure why the movie was marketed as this 70s retro Black Exploitation film. I think that was misleading and a wasted opportunity to draw in a larger audience. Although the movie was a predictable action movie, the trailer didn’t reveal much about the plot. It was very vague and it only showed Henson shooting her gun. I don’t know what happened here and why it was a miss. The fact that this movie did nearly $12M in 10 days is a testament to Henson’s star power and her #BlackGirlMagic.
So with that being said, is Proud Mary good? It’s, ok, not the worst, but it could have been better. In my opinion, it seemed to lack a lot of character development and building in the first half. I could tell that a lot of stuff was left on the cutting room floor. For this to be considered an action drama it really lacked in the action. There were only two big action scenes. I wanted more action scenes of Henson kicking the shit outta people. I am here for any movie in which a black woman is kicking ass and taking names, but it lacked that extra bit of badassness that I was looking for. The dialogue seemed to be a little bit lacking, but that’s my opinion on most action films. Ok, and not to shade legend Danny Glover, but his performance left little to be desired and it seemed like he was out of breath most of the time. But I love Taraji! She is everyone’s favorite round-the-way girl. I thought she did well. I also thought Jahi Winston did well. He was cute and he held his own and commanded the screen with the big stars of Henson and Glover.
Ok, so will I recommend you go see it? Yes, because all coins count and your support is appreciated. Don’t download this on your Firestick.
Go see Proud Mary!