MOVIE REVIEW – Jennifer Lopez, who in addition to pop music and romantic comedies, also occasionally shows up in action movies, has now taken on a role as a former hitwoman mother who hides in the Alaskan wilderness but must come out of hiding to save the daughter she gave up for adoption years ago. “Mother” is Netflix’s latest action thriller, directed by Niki Caro and written by Andrea Berloff. However, the film fails to capitalize on Lopez’s charisma and talent and tells a bland, clichéd, discredited story.
Netflix’s latest attempt to ride the wave of women’s action films has unfortunately not gone down well. ‘Mother’ is a clichéd and boring thriller in which Jennifer Lopez plays a character who does nothing but shoot, drive, and fight. The film can’t decide whether to take itself seriously or not, and so it fails to excel in either genre. The story is full of logical lapses, tiresome clichés, and lip-smacking, discredited dialogue, and the actors seem to be there as alibis. “Mother” is the kind of movie that, if it were really a real mother, we would walk away from as teenagers.
Only one Mother
The title character in “Mother” is a mysterious woman (Jennifer Lopez) who once served in the Special Forces, then turned to the dark side and became involved in arms and human trafficking. But after a mission gone wrong, she gave birth to a daughter (Zoe), whom she was forced to hand over to the FBI in exchange for a new life in Alaska. Twelve years later, however, his old lover (and Zoe’s father) Adrian (Joseph Fiennes) turns up, seeking revenge on him and his daughter. The Mother, therefore, draws on her fighting skills again and does everything she can to protect her child.
The biggest problem with the film is the character of the Mother, who is simply not believable. Jennifer Lopez tries to look tough and tough, but she fails to make us believe that she is a professional killer. The film also doesn’t give her any depth or motivation, it just shows how good she is with guns and martial arts. Anya is not an interesting or sympathetic character but a clichéd action hero.
And Dad is better off without
The other main character in the film is Adrian (Joseph Fiennes), the former lover of Mother and Zoe’s father. He’s a vicious arms dealer and assassin who has a grudge against the Mother and her daughter for some reason. However, the film does not explain why he wants to kill them or why he hasn’t done so before. Adrian is an enemy who poses no threat, just a boring obstacle in the Mother’s way. And Joseph Fiennes seems to be playing the role as an alibi, showing no passion or charisma, his character is a twelve, one dozen level bad guy.
The third important character in the film is Zoe (Lucy Fry), the daughter of Mother and Adrian. She’s an innocent and naive teenager who doesn’t know her real parents, though she already suspects they’re not the ones who raised her. Based on what, the film forgets to show. But when he is kidnapped, he discovers that the Mother is actually a super-powered warrior woman who will do anything for him.
The film tries to show the relationship between Zoe and the Mother, but it doesn’t really succeed. Zoe does not know how to relate to the Mother who suddenly appears in her life. At first she is angry with her and disappointed that she has left her. She tries to run away from him, but realises she has no choice but to stay with him. Gradually he gets to know Mother and begins to love her. But this relationship does not come about naturally or authentically, but only because of the constraints and clichés of the script. Zoe’s relationship with the Mother is not emotional or touching, but only superficial and forced.
Good action, but too few
“Mother” is basically an action thriller, with action scenes being its greatest strength. The film is full of shoot-outs, car chases and hand-to-hand combat, which are well staged and choreographed. Jennifer Lopez also shows her prowess with guns and martial arts, and gives a credible performance as the tough female action heroine.
But these action sequences do not satisfy the viewer because too few of them exist. During the film’s two-hour running time, we only see Mother in action a few times, and the rest of the time we only hear boring dialogue and clichés. The film therefore fails to hold the viewer’s attention and excitement because, for an action film, there is too much rice, too many boring filler scenes and not enough otherwise fair firefights, hand-to-hand combat and chases.
Only one Lopez
The acting in “Mother” offers nothing memorable or impressive. Jennifer Lopez takes on a role that does not match her talent or charisma. Anya is a character who shows no emotion or conflict, only action hero skills. The little girl (Lucy Fry) who plays Zoe is rather pale and featureless and fails to convince the viewer that she is the Mother’s daughter. And Ralph Fiennes’ performance is snappy and clumsy (but not necessarily his fault, poor script etc.) Also, the other supporting characters bring nothing exciting or memorable to the film, they are really just filler because of the stupid script, even though otherwise talented actors play them.
So the film does not give actors the space to develop their talent or charisma. The script is formulaic and flat and the dialogue is dull and forced. The actors seem to be there as alibis and do not enjoy the play, the actors get lost in the clichés.
“Mother” is a film that cannot decide what it wants to be. A serious drama about motherhood and guilt? A funny action comedy about a woman returning to the battlefield? A thrilling thriller about a woman who protects her daughter from villains? The film tries to do all of them, but succeeds in none. The film is clichéd and boring, the actors are often lazy and indifferent (although this is probably due to poor directorial direction) and apart from the decent action sequences (of which there are sadly few), it bores the hell out of you most of the time.
Direction - 3.2
Actors - 4.4
Story - 2.2
Visuals/Music/Sounds/Action - 7.4
Ambience - 3.1
"Mother" is a clichéd and boring thriller starring Jennifer Lopez as a female assassin. The film can't decide whether to take itself seriously or not, and thus fails to excel in either genre. The story is full of logical gaffes and clichés, and the actors seem to be there as alibis.
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