Star power can have a big effect on almost any movie, causing the fans of a particular actor or actress to support and stand by whatever project they are part of. This is definitely the case for Hollywood superstar Jennifer Lopez, who has been in multiple films throughout the years. Whether they were good or bad, JLo fans showed up to watch and support regardless. This is definitely the case for the Netflix film release The Mother, starring Jennifer Lopez as an assassin who goes on the run to protect her daughter from some very bad people.
The assassin that JLo plays is never given a name, she’s just known as The Mother when she gives birth to a child after a run-in with an ex-SAS marine named Adrian Lovell who nearly kills her. The Mother was involved with Lovell in the shady business of weapons smuggling with an arms dealer named Hector Alvarez, until she discovered they were human trafficking, causing the Mother to go on the run. After the incident with Lovell, the Mother gives up her child to a foster family and disappears into a quiet life far away where neither her child nor anyone else could find her. But many years later, the Mother’s child becomes endangered by Hector’s men are found with a photo of her. Both the Mother and a friendly FBI Agent need to protect the child as hitmen begin to close in and seek revenge, leading to many shootouts and a fight for survival.
While Jennifer Lopez flexes her acting muscles by committing to the grim and stern attitude of the Mother that she plays, it’s not enough to fully pull the weight of the story and cast around her. The Mother feels like two separate movies that were stitched together, with one half feeling like an action spy-thriller and the other a survival film.
There’s a point midway through the film where it makes an abrupt shift in gears and becomes an entirely different story than what was shown before. The action in multiple sections of the movie is solid, with lots of bullets flying and brutal scenes that match the movie’s initial pitch. However, the slower moments in between feel forced and borderline lackluster in some sections.
The rest of the cast outside of Jennifer Lopez doesn’t have a lot of good things going for them, let alone the same presence as JLo when on screen. The story feels as if it holds no emotional weight with some of the poor delivery from various characters, which comes off as awkward. Not every character in the film suffers from this, but there are a few that stand out from the bad guys Jennifer Lopez encounters.
Lucy Paez, who plays the daughter of the Mother named Zoe, does the best she can with the material given. Unfortunately, most of what she does and goes through in the film becomes obsolete by the end. At one point in the story, the Mother tries to impart harsh life lessons on her daughter as a means of survival, but by the time all of the conflict gets resolved, it feels like nothing mattered. She does get some moments to use some of the skills she learned from the Mother, but they are very brief.
Had the majority of the movie been more about the Mother and her daughter staying out of sight and surviving, then everything would have felt like it mattered more by the end. The same goes for the first half of the film with Jennifer Lopez working with Omari Hardwick, who plays the FBI agent Cruise. The two of them track down to where Hector’s men have taken her daughter, only for him to be gone from the film shortly after. If the majority of the movie was focused on the two of them chasing leads and fighting to find Zoe, everything about the plot would have been far more interesting and significant by the end.
Luckily, the movie does have enough great action sequences that show off some great choreography and brutal moments. The body count that JLo racks up is pretty high, with many coming from sniper shots and pistol shoot-outs in various locations. She even gets into a few good hand-to-hand fights to show off her military assassin skills. These are well done and look pretty good.
The same can be said for Omari Hardwick when he’s in on the action but is sadly undercut when he’s no longer around. By the end, you do get some tense sequences between JLo and the main bad guy, and the stakes are very high. When it’s all said and done though, you might ask yourself if everything prior to that really mattered in hindsight.
The Mother is a movie that could have been handled better and put together a better experience overall, despite some of the good action it has. Jennifer Lopez is a superstar that brings attention to any project she is part of, but it’s not enough to automatically make a film a good watch. Fans of hers will still enjoy seeing this, because she’s definitely a highlight, but everyone else looking beyond that won’t find much to like here.
Are you going to see The Mother on Netflix anytime soon? Do you consider yourself a fan of Jennifer Lopez and her movies? Let us know your thoughts down below in the comment section!
The movie has some good action sequences, with a lot of brutal moments that look good. However, the tone feels disjointed at the midway point, with a story that ultimately feels shallow. Some ideas presented in it are interesting, but end up appearing as though they don’t matter by the finale.
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