Mary Goodwin (Taraji P. Henson), a hitwoman in Boston, breaks into an apartment and kills her mark, only to discover he has an twelve-year-old kid, Danny (Jahi Di’Allo Winston) playing video games in the other room. She doesn’t kill him, and leaves feeling bad. One year later, Danny is now working for an organized crime family in Boston doing drug runs while being beaten and starved by his boss, Uncle (Xander Berkeley). Mary discovers Danny passed out in an alley and takes him back to her apartment. When she finds out what Uncle was doing to Danny, she goes back and tries to return the drugs Danny had and to have them let him go. When Uncle refuses she kills him, and all his men, which then gets the other crime families riled up thinking there’s a row brewing. Mary meets with the crime family she’s a part of, with leader Benny (Danny Glover) and his son Tom (Billy Brown), Benny wants to squash any attempts of a war, while Tom wants to make moves. Mary tries to settle things by taking out another target (Neal McDonough) but the rival crime family already comes after Benny and Tom. After the attack Tom goes back to Mary’s apartment to warn her, but instead discovers Danny, who Mary has been keeping secret. Just as Mary is hoping to break free from this lifestyle she has, Tom discovers the truth about Danny and threatens to take her down, will she be able to make it out?
There’s a lot to be frustrated with in Proud Mary from the fact that the story is more Danny’s than it is the titular characters, to the fact that we’ve seen this story before with reverse genders and it was much better (The Professional), to the lazy directing — and for the first time — a scene that had such bad lighting that that became my focus during the pivotal moment. Taraji P. Henson is still a kick-ass, and deserves a better movie to unleash, but this isn’t it. The fact that Mary is a female hitwoman could have been played up more, but instead all they did was make her motherly by taking in Danny. (And a side note, aside from Mary, there were only three female characters in the movie, two of which were cashiers / clerks with like three lines, the third was Benny’s wife who appeared briefly in two scenes and affected the story in no way whatsoever.) While the movie itself is outrageously bad, it just feels worse knowing that there was potential for something fun and entertaining, and instead we got this.