About twenty minutes into the new Netflix thriller “Mother,” star Jennifer Lopez Locks eyes with a growling, angry wolf in the snowy wilderness of Alaska. As Lopez raises his rifle, a pack of adorable wolf cubs emerge from their snowy home. The she-wolf stops growling and runs to her kids. The wolf represents Lopez in a heavy-handed metaphor that serves as a through-line for the overly long, utterly ridiculous film.
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Billed solely as “The Mother”, Lopez plays an ex-sharp shooter who turns mercenary when she learns they were also involved in human trafficking. Lopez approaches the role with the same conservatism alain delon In “Le Samurai” and physical retribution of Liam Neeson In “took, unfortunately he is interrupted by a character who has been overwritten with a And Underwritten, while trapped in a film that never gives any of its characters room for the kind of nuance the performance in register requires.
We first meet him during an FBI interrogation led by the affable William Cruise (omari hardwick,Power, Evil-X #1 after a violent assault on the safe house by Adrian Lovell (played as a rejected Bond villain by Joseph Fiennes,The Handmaid’s Tale”), a very pregnant mother rescues Cruz and saves Lovell from a homemade bomb (or does she…), though not before she slashes her stomach with a knife. Once safely arriving at the hospital, the mother makes a deal to put her miraculously unharmed baby under witness protection before she heads off into the Alaskan wilderness above. It’s all in the first twelve minutes.
The rest of the intricate plot takes our heroine from Alaska to Cincinnati to Cuba and back to Alaska, following her twelve-year-old daughter Zoe (lucy page) has been kidnapped. misha green ,lovecraft country”) is credited with the story, while she joined on the screenplay. Andrea Berloff ,Kitchen“) And peter craig ,City, Somehow between those three they’ve managed at least three films’ worth of action – and, most regrettably, exposition – in two hours that actually feels more like four.
director nikki caro ,whale Rider,,mulan”) is out of its element with the film’s action sequences, which while being fun, feel like a copycat of a dozen other, better movies. His usual flair for great character work is handicapped by the film’s script, which relies largely on expository dialogue to craft character motivations rather than allowing for organic moments between the actors. This clunky writing also detracts from its visual language, with many scenes accompanied by voiceovers telling the audience what is happening, rather than letting the visuals speak for themselves.
oscar nominee Paul Rasi ,metal sound”) as Mom’s ex-brother who helps her start her new life in Alaska. He at least has the serious face of a real person and the seriousness to pull off any type of character, even an underwritten one. I was looking forward to the script leaving this exposition and giving us a real moment between Jones and the mother. A story only they share. Something to make their deep friendship absolutely real.
Evil-X #2 as Hector Alvarez, Gael Garcia Bernal ,and you mom too”) is given a similarly underwriting character. But like Raisi, Bernal is an actor with so much talent that he can do too much with too little. Here it looks like they’ve decided to go full soap opera villain, and tonight it doesn’t match up with the rest of the movie, she’s at least a hoot to watch.
Their sequence in Cuba is also the only thrilling piece of filmmaking in the entire film. Again, operating in pure soap mode, the mother convinces the FBI to let her go to Cuba with Agent Cruz to extract her daughter. Shot a bit like a first person shooter video game and set by “Angel”. massive AttackMother’s neon green realm contrasts beautifully with the darkness as she picks off Alvarez’s protectors one by one. Eventually she finds Alvarez in a room with a golden altar filled with candles. Their reunion is a violent one, as terrifying as it is beautiful.
In fact the entire film is filled with this gruesome form of extreme violence. We’re told Mom served in Iraq and Afghanistan before becoming a guard at Guantanamo and later becoming an arms dealer. In one scene she violently interrogates a man before brutally killing him with a glass bottle. “You learn things in the service,” she says. Later explaining that she got involved in the arms deal because she had no family, no future, and the best she could hope for when she got out, despite being the best sniper in the service, she Had a job as a cashier.
There could have been an interesting commentary in here somewhere about the way the military hunts down the most vulnerable in society and turns them into ruthless killing machines, then releases them once they are civilians again. However, it never fully commits to exploring that aspect of the mother’s background. also believes that although she has turned into a ruthless killing machine because she is a mother, all the violence she perpetrates is justified. It believes this so much that in the third act the mother begins to train Zoe to use guns and knives as weapons “to defend herself”. He is just a wolf teaching his progeny how to be a wolf.
But in a country with such major gun violence perpetrated by children against children it seems every day, this allegory of America’s unique fascination with gun violence dulls the metaphor. Instead, it continues to plant the insidious idea that the only way Americans will ever be safe is more guns. It’s disappointing to see this idea so soundly packaged as some sort of feminist empowerment.
The film ends with the mother looking down on Zoe from above, who is her protector. kate bush“This Woman’s Work” – a song about childbirth originally written for John Hughes film “she is having a baby”- underlines the moment. Once again, this is meant to establish the notion that the film is a feminist ode to the fierceness of motherhood. Yet, given Netflix’s share in the renaissance of Kate Bush, a similar needle drop in the wildly popular stranger things As in last summer, it ends the film with the bitter taste of another distinctly insidious American trait: the soulless cash grab. [D]