The Mother

The Mother Movie Review

Streaming on Netflix starting May 12, 2023


“The Mother” is a Netflix release filled with a lot of action and female empowerment. In this case the ‘Mother’ is a military-trained assassin who gets into a bad situation. She is able to get out, but her child is taken away. Later when her former partners are trying to get to her, they go after the daughter. That is when “The Mother’ turns into a real ‘mother’…


There is a woman who has inside information on a huge arms smuggling operation. This lady is never given a name, but she is pregnant. One of her ex-partners is the father, and she is known only as “The Mother” (played by Jennifer Lopez). So let’s call her Jen. She is taken to a ‘safe house’ by the FBI. But Jen knows that her ex-partners will not allow it to be safe.


Adrian Lovell (played by Joseph Fiennes) is a former British SAS commander turned arms dealer. His arms buyer is a guy named Hector Álvarez (played by Gael García Bernal). Both of them are burned by Jen, and they are after “The Mother”. Lovell sends his squad to take out Jen and the FBI agents. Álvarez is under a lot of heat, so he stays in Cuba.


At the safe house, it is revealed that Jen is pregnant. One FBI agent, named William Cruise (played by Omari Hardwick) is helpful to Jen. But Lovell and his group attack, killing all the agents. Jen helps to save Agent Cruise. But she is almost murdered by Lovell, until she turns the tables on him. Lovell is taken in by the other agents, after he is burned in a fiery booby-trap set by Jen.


Jen gives birth to the young girl. She has saved Agent Cruise, but the Agency will not help her any longer. At least not officially. For the safety of the baby, Jen gives her up for adoption. Cruise promises to keep Jen up-to-date on her daughter over the years. So Jen moves far away, to an isolated spot in Alaska.


Then it is twelve years later, and Jen gets news from Agent Cruise. Her daughter has been adopted and has been raised for all of these years. Her name is Zoe (played by Lucy Paez). But Cruise says that Adrian Lovell has escaped from prison, and he might be planning something with Hector Álvarez. They might try to get her daughter, to take revenge on “The Mother”.


Jen as spent all those years bulking up and perfecting her fighting skills. She will be up to the task to protect her daughter. Yet Zoe is kidnapped by a crew sent by Álvarez. Zoe is captured and taken to Cuba, to a stronghold created by Álvarez. It would take a crazy excellent shot to take down all the guards and get to Álvarez. So that is what Jen and Agent Cruise will do.


Jen is a wicked fighter and sharpshooter. Working with Cruise, the bodyguards for Álvarez never stood a chance. Neither does the crime lord himself. Jen make quick work of the Cuban stronghold, and is able to free Zoe. But Jen has watched Zoe grow up, thanks to yearly pictures sent by Agent Cruise. But Zoe does not know this crazy lady with all the weapons.


Now Álvarez is out of the picture and Zoe is safe. Now Agent Cruise and Jen can return her back to her family. Back in the States, Zoe is on her way to be delivered back home. But what else bad could happen? Well, Adrian Lovell has gotten his old crew back to together. They go after the three of them. Agent Cruise does not make it…


Jen takes off with Zoe, back where she has her own unique stronghold. They go back to the remote Alaska wilderness cabin. There, she can lay in wait and train Zoe on how to defend herself. But Zoe is really upset that she needs to go with Jen, and she fights against it at every turn. But Jen explains that the ones who kidnapped her and went after Cruise are still out to find Jen and take her down.


Jen and Zoe spend some time in the cabin, and Zoe would rather be anywhere else. But soon Zoe sees that the training she is getting from Jen might be able to save her life. At this point, none of the bad guys know where Zoe and Jen are hiding. But the people in Lovell’s group are on the lookout all the time. Lovell is still mad about Jen ruining his arms deals, and also mad at losing Hector Álvarez. Killing Agent Cruise was not enough for Lovell.


Jen knows at one point, Lovell will be able to track down where they are hiding. When that day comes, she wants Zoe to be prepared to fight back. She trains her on how to drive, how to win in a knife fight, and how to shoot. When that day comes, Jen knows that that Lovell has prepared for everything. But he has not prepared for “The Mother”.


“The Mother” is pretty basic action movie, with Jennifer Lopez taking the lead role as nameless main character. So she is a mother, and she has a “very particular set of skills”. But not much more is ever known about her. The other characters get even less development as real people. Lopez has gotten pretty beefed up for this role; both her and her stunt double.


The action goes straight into “wait, what?” mode early and often. The locations are placed very nicely. But the shaky-cam action editing distracts quite a bit. The way that “The Mother” saves Agent Cruise at the start of the movie, just because he was nice and offered her some water – that is bit goofy. You never see any reason to fear the villains, Álvarez and Lovell – because you hardly see them. Jen and Agent Cruise seem to always have an endless supply of money, supplies, guns and ammo.


“The Mother” gives Jennifer Lopez a chance to stretch into the Action Movie format, but this movie might leave you wishing she got a better opportunity to ‘deliver’…



The Mother

Directed by: Niki Caro
Screenplay by: Misha Green, Andrea Berloff, Peter Craig
Story by: Misha Green
Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Joseph Fiennes, Omari Hardwick, Gael García Bernal, Lucy Paez
Cinematography: Ben Seresin
Edited by: David Coulson
Music by: Germaine Franco
Distributed by: Netflix
Release date: May 12, 2023
Length: 1 hour 55 minutes
MPAA rating: R for violence, some language and brief drug use
Genre: Action Thriller


Rating contributor: JMcNaughton tmc

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