The terribly silly Taraji P. Henson action film storming Netflix
(Credit: Netflix)

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The terribly silly Taraji P. Henson action film storming Netflix

From Hidden Figures to Empire and the very recent The Color Purple, Taraji P. Henson has solidified her status as a powerhouse performer time and again. But one thing she never got to do was flex her action skills on the big screen, that is, till 2018.

This time, Henson is sending shockwaves through Netflix queues with Proud Mary. The 2018 action-packed thriller has unexpectedly surged to fourth place on Netflix’s top ten list of films in the UK. Not stopping there, it’s also claiming its spot in the top ten in four more countries, including Ireland and Italy. 

Directed by Babak Najafi and written by John Stuart Newman, Christian Swegal, and Steve Antin, Proud Mary promised to be a John Wick-esque adventure, with Henson in the driver’s seat of the action. However, it did not hit the bullseye. Despite its missteps, Henson’s performance holds up even though everything else ceases to make any sense in the film beyond a point.

In Proud Mary, Henson portrays the titular Mary, a hitwoman working for an organised crime family in Boston. Her life takes a dramatic turn when she encounters a young boy named Danny (played by Jahi Di’Allo Winston) during a job gone awry. Faced with unexpected maternal instincts, Mary’s loyalty to her employers is put to the test as she takes Danny under her wing, leading to a series of explosive confrontations and high-octane action sequences.

Speaking of action, Henson herself had a blast filming the adrenaline-fueled scenes. In an interview with Ebony magazine, she gushed about the experience, likening it to getting paid to play cops and robbers. “We’ve all finger-shot our friends or played the hero, so it was like a dream come true for me,” she said with a laugh. 

“It’s the closest I’ve been to playing a Marvel character. Let me just put that in the universe,” Henson manifested. It would have been fun seeing Henson in an MCU flick, but with superhero fatigue set in firmly, the only palatable super story that remains in town happens to be The Boys. A Henson cameo in the Eric Kripke universe of supes and vigilantes would be cool, especially after her recent turn on television with the Emmy-winning Abbott Elementary.

While Proud Mary may not have hit all the marks, it’s undeniable that Taraji P. Henson’s presence elevates the film somewhat. So, if you’re in the mood for high-stakes action with a side of Henson charm, Proud Mary might just be the perfect addition to your Netflix watchlist. After all, female-led action extravaganzas are few and far between. Why should boys have all the predictably silly action pow-wows on-screen?

You can watch Proud Mary on Netflix and catch the trailer here: