Taraji P. Henson’s ascension from television star to full – fledged movie star continues with the upcoming action flick Proud Mary.
In this movie, Taraji portrays Mary, a hit woman for the Boston Mafia who while on a job comes across a young boy and her life is forever changed. The film boasts a cast that consists of Danny Glover, Billy Brown from How to Get Away with Murder, and Margaret Avery whom we remember as Shug Avery from The Color Purple and currently costars on Being Mary Jane.
The movie doesn’t open until January, but when the trailer dropped a few months ago, many, including myself, were excited to see Henson take on this role which is different from any we’ve seen with her. It’s also rare to see Black women as leads in action films if we’re in them at all. My question is after the lackluster reception of Atomic Blonde and the Tomb Raider trailer will people gravitate to this film?
Let’s hope that the popularity that Henson has gained over the years, especially from her leading role on Empire, will prove that black women can also lead action films to the number one spot at the box office.
The Afterthought – Reel Focus blogger’s initial reaction to a new television show, new film release or television show season premiere.
The 2017 summer movie season has seen its fair share of disappointments where the box office is concerned. Fate of the Furious broke records during opening weekend, but after that, the ratings plummeted and set the tone for what seemed to be a season of massive flops. King Arthur, Baywatch, and The Mummy all – one after the other all crashed and burned at the box office.
Then came along advertisements for the one movie I and a host of other moviegoers had been looking forward to: Wonder Woman. I’m sure after the domino effect of movie flops this season, moviegoers were a bit apprehensive about this one. But after its release on June 2nd, it still continues to break box office even over a month later after its release.
This action adventure directed by Patty Jenkins is a phenomenon that has left a lot of studio executives marveling and scratching their heads at the same time. Why has Wonder Woman succeeded when these other films this season have not? Why did this film work both critically and among the fans when Batman vs. Superman and Suicide Squad left moviegoers with a sour taste in their mouths?
As a writer, I believe that one reason this film worked so well is because the script was well-written and easy to follow, not to mention the quality acting and directing. With all of these things working in sync, I pose a better question “How could it have not succeeded?”
My Synopsis of the Film
My overall opinion of Wonder Woman is that it surpassed any and all expectations I had. The script had me entangled in its web from beginning to end thanks to Jenkins direction and Gadot and Pine’s chemistry. It is undeniable from the jump that DC is trying desperately to make up for the debacle of Batman v Superman and the critical failure of Suicide Squad by taking a serious look at their movie roster and the improvements needed to compete with the juggernaut that is Marvel.
The Afterthought – My Take on the Film
Hiring a female director with an excellent track record was a smart move. Patty Jenkins, an award – winning director from the film (Monster) and television (The Killing) was chosen to bring the story of the Amazonian superhero to the big screen. Deborah Snyder, one of the producers of Wonder Woman said it would not have felt right to have a man direct the long- awaited film about the Amazon superhero and that along with Jenkins’ passion for the project placed her as the front-runner.
Finding the right person to embody the heroine was also of vital importance. Gal Gadot who is best known for her role as Gisele in The Fast and Furious franchise plays the role of Diana Prince/Wonder Woman with the perfect mix of vulnerability and badassness that has earned her well – deserved accolades from critics and the fan base. Casting Chris Pine as her love interest, Steve Trevor was a coup as well since he’s proven himself to be a credible movie star in films like Hell or High Water and the Star Trek franchise.
Wonder Woman has been on Jenkins radar for years. She first pitched her idea of an origin story to the studio back in 2010 but was rebuffed in favor of another female director. When that director and the studio clashed due to “creative differences,” Jenkins was called back in, and the rest is history.
The movie has now been out well over a month and has grossed $700 million worldwide and still going strong. News broke that it has held box office momentum better than any superhero film in the last 15 years. Justice League featuring Gadot alongside Superman, Batman, The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman will be coming out later this year, and I am sure the studio is hoping that the audiences who rushed out to see WW in her solo film will support this ensemble piece. After all, she was the one thing about Batman vs. Superman that worked and the only superhero (besides Spidey) that people seemingly care about right now.
WW2 is scheduled to make its debut in December 2019. Rumors have been swirling about the plot line for WW 2 and whether or not a particular character will be resurrected from the dead. All that is pretty much concrete, for now, is Gadot is committed, the setting could be during the 1980’s, and it will be dealing with the Cold War era. Jenkins is still negotiating her deal, but it is highly likely she will be returning as well.
The film is going to do well regardless of what decade it’s set in because Jenkins and Gadot have the recipe that reignited interest in the D C films: girl power on the screen and behind the scenes plus charismatic leads and an excellent story will bring the masses to the theater.
IMDb Film Synopsis
Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and true destiny.