Actress Taraji P. Henson plays a hit woman in the new drama, 'Proud Mary'

Celeb |

NEW YORK (CNS) -- As the title character in the drama "Proud Mary" (Screen Gems), Taraji P. Henson plays a hit woman with a heart of gold. By turns violent and sentimental, the tall tale that centers on her unlikely persona is consistently unconvincing.

A year after rubbing out his father, a hopelessly indebted bookie, Mary takes in orphaned preteen Danny (Jahi Di'Allo Winston) who has since become a petty street criminal. Discovering that "Uncle" (Xander Berkeley), the Fagin-like leader of the gang into whose service Danny was ensnared in the wake of his dad's death, was physically abusive to the lad, she proceeds to dispatch him with all dispatch.

But Mary's new domestic arrangement does not sit well with Benny (Danny Glover) and Tom (Billy Brown), the father-and-son team who run the mob family to which she belongs. They're concerned, moreover, that Uncle's slaying -- which Mary carried out without their permission and denies having committed -- has touched off a gang war.

Dedicated to protecting Danny, Mary also yearns to break free of her ties to Benny and Tom, the latter her ex-boyfriend.