Taraji Henson plays a leading hit woman for the first time. There has never been that time when Taraji Henson played the leading hit woman in any movie. Yes, she took the role of an assassin in “Smoking Aces” but not as the lead character. Here she is in “Proud Mary,” where she is a badass unapologetic hit woman taking a full control of her life in a world long suppressed by senseless patriarchy. This therefore makes her one of the “hit lead” female characters to watch out for in 2018. The top three movies that enjoyed box office success in
2017 all featured female lead characters. This could inspire a lot more in that direction in 2018. With female-leading movie records of last year being considered, “Proud Woman” is poised to stand tall among the female-fronted films of 2018.

“Proud Mary” is not just a mere female-fronted movie, it is led by a black woman who doubles as an executive producer. Henson, who plays Mary accepts that the movie is a mouthpiece for all African American women who have been boxed to a dark corner. Having an African American woman at the fore front of this kind of movie is not what happens often. It hasn’t happened since 1970s. It’s not a norm to have this kind of movie because most managers of the companies that produce these movies don’t see the market value of giving an African American woman such matchless power. It took this long for these managers to realize that more women go to the movies than men. It is such a smart thing to appeal to women where movie making is concerned.

With this African American lady at the vanguard of “Proud Mary,” a statement of empowerment for women of colour and women in general is apodictically issued. Women would not always be at the rear of the car; they are taking over the driving wheel, determining their destinies. The way Mary kits up for each operation is symptomatic of the position of power that this movie keeps the women. She is well armed against any aggression. That is why she has the capability to tell the men in her life that she is no longer enjoying what she’s been doing for them. She wants to leave!

“Proud Mary” is an action thriller. Taraji Henson confessed she has dreamt all her life to one day be an action star. “That’s where the fun is, that’s where the checks are,” she said. She is also a good learner as she modeled Mary after the action stars that she admires: Pam Grier and Iceman (Richard Kuklinski). Henson’s favourite action stars are Liam Neeson and Keanu Reeves. She does not leave out James Bond.

She openly brought to the fore her desire to see women take over the driving seat of their lives in her response to what inspired the character of Mary, “Just all women trying to fight it out. It’s based on all kinds of women — women I know from the ’hood, women I know in my life, friends.”

So if you are a woman and looking forward to gaining control over your life,
“Proud Mary” is the movie to see.