“Proud Mary” (Screen Gems)

Taraji P. Henson and Danny Glover star in a scene from the movie "Proud Mary." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. (CNS/Sony)

By Catholic News Service

Tall tale of a hit woman (Taraji P. Henson) with a heart of gold who takes in the orphaned son (Jahi Di’Allo Winston) of one of her victims and dispatches the Fagin-like leader (Xander Berkeley) of the gang into whose service the lad was ensnared in the wake of his dad’s death. But this new arrangement does not sit well with the father (Danny Glover) and son (Billy Brown) who run the mob family to which she belongs, the latter of whom is also her ex-boyfriend.

Intended as an homage to female-led blaxploitation films of the 1970s, director Babak Najafi’s drama is all style and no credibility since John Stuart Newman’s screenplay fails to lay the foundation either of its unlikely plot or of its adoptive central relationship. Morality also gets taken out as the script gives its featured assassin a pass for the two most prominent of her killings on the grounds that her targets are bad guys.

A vengeance theme, much stylized gunplay with fleeting but nasty gore, a scene of torture, brief partial nudity, several uses of profanity, about a half-dozen milder oaths, a couple of rough and numerous crude and crass terms. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III — adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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