I actually liked the new movie playing on Netflix called “The Mother,” and to my surprise, it was written by one of my favorite screenwriters/TV creators: Misha Green.
I want to clarify that I avoid reading marketing and press materials before watching a movie or series. I prefer to form my own opinions based solely on the material. In this case, I can confidently say that I enjoyed “The Mother,” which was expertly directed by Niki Caro.
Starring Jennifer Lopez as a highly skilled assassin, the film is sure to satisfy fans of action-thrillers. What’s impressive is that it appeals to both men and women, which is no small feat.
It opens with a bang. Lopez’s character, known only as the Mother, is being put through the paces by a group of unfriendly FBI agents. Their job is to get her to spill the names of the two arms dealers she has worked and slept with. Love, money, and guns do not make for a smooth relationship. Agent Cruise (Omari Hardwick) asks her, with a level of respect that does not match that of his partner agent (Link Baker), who does not seem to think Mother is attractive enough for his taste. To make the point, this agent reads her a tight monologue designed to dress her down, assuring her that “they” will keep her safe.
Mother knows better, and in less than a blink of an eye, all hell breaks out. During the mayhem, flying bullets, and death, we discover that Mother is pregnant. Fast-forward: Her newborn, Zoe, is placed with a family, and she relocates to Alaska under the protection of a fellow soldier, Jons (Paul Raci).
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Mother is as smart as she is loving. This Alaska arrangement has kept her and her child safe for 12 years. But evil knows no time limit, and vengeance grows by the second, so when Cruise reaches out with news that Zoe (Lucy Paez) has been discovered by Mother’s former partners, Adrian Lovell (Joseph Fiennes) and Hector Alvarez (Gael García Bernal), I think you understand the urgency of the situation.
Lovell is a rather unhinged type who prefers to bloody his hands and kill others than work on solutions. Alvarez is equally cruel. The action shifts to Cuba. Imagine the type of creative resistance these men are about to face. Lovell understands Mother. He’s the one who trained her to become a highly effective sniper during her tour of duty in Afghanistan. He knows that, as well-trained as she is, she knows how to unalive people.
In this movie, Mother seems cool, calm, and perfectly balanced. And she is. But that shouldn’t fool you about the fury that’s swirling inside her. She gets her kid. You know this by the very nature of the film’s title. And it’s by watching the relationship between the Mother and Zoe develop that we can see the layers of fierce protectiveness that this woman possesses.
Lopez—I buy that she’s that fierce mother. And as the saying goes: A woman scorned…and so many more warnings about the true nature of women all apply in this entertaining film, with a screenplay written by one of my favorites: Misha Green.
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