Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: While fleeing from dangerous assailants, an assassin comes out of hiding to protect her daughter she left earlier in life.
Review: Jennifer Lopez is one of those celebrities that people seem to either love or…well, “hate” might be a strong word, let’s just say dislike. Personally, I don’t have any issues with her as I don’t listen to her music, but I do remember the lady having some catchy tunes, and I could care less about the personal life of celebrities. Her movies on the other hand, well I’ve seen every single one of them and while the quality might be debatable there’s one thing I’ve noticed as time has gone by, and that is J-Lo is a lot better at this acting thing that people give her credit for.
The Mother could’ve easily been just another “okay” but ultimately forgettable movie. This paint-by-numbers tale of revenge and redemption is a simple one on paper that is very much elevated by lead Lopez as the titular Mother, although kudos also needs to be given to youngster Lucy Paez who plays her daughter Zoe, as well as Joseph Fiennes who once again plays a villain (seriously, the last time I remember him playing a good guy was 1998’s Shakespeare in Love). Lopez plays an ex-spy who is forced to go on the run after an attempt on both her life and the life of her unborn child. As any good mother would do, she gives the child up for adoption with the promise from her handler Agent Cruise (Omari Hardwick) that he’ll contact her if Zoe ever needs her, which of course happens because if it didn’t, we wouldn’t have a movie!
Lopez is 100 per cent invested in this role and like her memorable turn in Hustlers she seems committed to showing she’s more than just another pretty face. The Mother is someone who embodies “speak softly and carry a big stick” which means whoever is portraying her needs to be able to convey a lot of emotion without a lot of words. I think it may surprise some viewers how well J-Lo delivers on this as well as the very believable relationship that develops between her and her estranged daughter over the course of this thrilling story.
While the movie cinematically looks good and gives us enough time to buy into the dynamic between mother and daughter, it does feel a tad too long in places while not spending enough time with other characters that could’ve benefited from some much-needed development. Besides Joseph Fiennes, we also get Gael Garcia Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries, Old, Werewolf by Night) as another man from The Mother’s past (by the way, we never learn her name so that’s why I keep repeating the title of the movie) and it’s such a shame to see two very gifted actors not given the time and space they needed to shine. You don’t have Fiennes and Bernal in a movie and relegate them to Generic Villain One and Two, you just don’t!
Overall though, The Mother is a better than average thriller. Even with the issues I mentioned earlier, not a single person felt like they were sleepwalking through their roles, especially Jennifer Lopez who delivers one of her best performances to date (I would now rank this with Enough and Hustlers as her top three). And while the slower bits might not be for everyone, the solid action sequences and the convincing relationships makes this one worthy of your viewing time.
Sommer’s Score: 7 out of 10
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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