THE MOTHER – Review by Nikki Fowler

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The Mother tries repeatedly but somewhat fails at being a strong dramatic action movie despite having many action sequences and some scenic US snow filled mountainous and colorful Cuban landscapes, alongside some great production and popular music tracks. The start of the story is a bit traumatizing with Jennifer Lopez as ‘The Mother’ being stabbed in the stomach while she’s pregnant. From there, we follow her emotionally traumatizing journey in having to give up her child to foster care for the baby girls safety, only to step back into the child’s life 12 years later when her own past life as an assassin catches up with her and puts her, and her estranged daughter, at risk.

Most of this film felt like it wanted to be something out of the James Bond franchise with spectacular cinematography, despite the overuse of the blurry filter sprinkled throughout, except the stunts were slightly lackluster and some of the acting was mediocre at best. Lucy Paez and Omari Hardwick absolutely held their own though and deserved more. Joseph Fiennes was wasted in this film. He was more terrorizing in The Handmaids Tale, with less effort made. The positives on Lopez are that she may be best suited for feel good movies where she shines, and that she’s incredibly physically fit (a true powerhouse) to play an action star, but I also feel there’s a wall Lopez needs to break through on her acting to really let go of who she is and her past work to take on more serious roles like this; I felt the same way towards her work in 2002’s Enough. Is Lopez a Bassett or Blanchett? Not quite, but she does get an A for effort on completely persevering in a genre that many have said she would never excel at. Lopez continues to push the envelope and it’s not surprising she’s in a female led action thriller focused on the bonds of motherhood.

I desperately wanted the stunts scenes to give more to the audience and that includes the direction. Some of the many stunts and story just made no sense and were extremely predictable and unbelievable such as when we last see Omari’s character, with none of them feeling quite like a feature film but more Lifetime Channel, placing more emphasis on the prep and the gloss of potential battle, and less on the actual action and the more details that were needed to create believable combat on screen. I wanted to see more reasons to believe this was a real life assassin besides all of the convenient gunplay. Overall it was a good effort but a tough watch.

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Nikki Fowler

Nikki Fowler is the founder and publisher of Glitter Magazine, and a seasoned critic, writer, journalist and host accredited with the Motion Pictures Association. She skyrocketed Glitter to national status within one issue, taking the title to Barnes and Noble, Target, Walmart, and over 30 other national retailers. Glitter was a glossy magazine found on over 3000 newsstands in every US state. It is now completely digital. Nikki is a graduate of Rutgers College. Rutgers University, with a degree in English. She is a member of AWFJ and AAFCA.