Showing posts with label Action Films. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Action Films. Show all posts

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Lights, Cameras, ACTION!!! Some Action Movies Rosy Enjoyed!

 [I review the action films "The Mother," "Heart of Stone" and "Ghosted"]

The Mother (2023)

Don't mess with a mother!

J-Lo stars as a military operative known as "The Mother" who not only gets involved with arms smuggling but also gets romantically involved with two of the smugglers - Adrian Lovell (Joseph Fiennes) and Hector Alvarez (Gael Garcia Bernal) - resulting in her becoming a mother, literally.  

However, when she discovers that those two guys are also into child trafficking, she turns FBI informant, but during her interrogation, Lovell attacks killing all of the agents except Special Agent William Cruise (Omari Hardwick).  The Mother saves Cruise but Lovell confronts her and stabs her in the womb.  She survives, but the baby is born prematurely and she is told that because Lovell is still out there, her baby will never be safe unless she gives up parental rights.  She reluctantly agrees but tells Cruise she will only do that under three conditions: the child will have a life as ordinary as possible, she'll get a photo every birthday, and that he will call her if her daughter is ever in jeopardy. The Mother then goes into hiding and moves to a remote cabin in Alaska with the help of her former army colleague, Jons (Paul Raci).

Well, guess what? Your daughter is in danger, girl.

Twelve years later, Cruise contacts The Mother to tell her that Alvarez and Lovell are still mad at her for blabbing and still want revenge and it looks like they are going to go after her daughter, Zoe (Lucy Paez), who is living that ordinary life in Ohio that The Mother wanted her to have.  The Mother heads to Ohio just in time to witness Alvarez's goons kidnapping Zoe.

Game on, goons.  You are messing with the wrong Mother!

The film begins with the usual action movie trope - a long cold opening with lots of action and drama which sets us up for MORE action and MORE drama. But Lopez is up for it.  Surprisingly, she makes a great action heroine. As the film unfolds we not only follow The Mother as she tries to save her daughter but we learn how she got involved with Lovell and Alvarez.  

I have always been a big fan of J-Lo.  She is not the greatest actress in the world nor the most beautiful but there is something about her that makes her a great and beautiful actress.  She exudes warmth and realness (is that a word?) that radiates off the screen.  You can't help but believe in her and root for her, even here where she is playing an unsmiling badass. This is J-Lo as you have never seen her, a female Tom Cruise (okay, so she probably had a stunt double but she does some exciting stuff).

Written by Misha Green, Andrea Berloff, and Peter Craig and directed by Niki Caro, it's a sort of female version of "Taken." Yes, there are some plot holes but there are also some great chase sequences, twists and even heart-warming moments, not to mention the great Jennifer Lopez.  The first half of the film is all action, the second half mother-daughter moments.

Rosy the Reviewer says...much better than anticipated so if you like action and you like J-Lo, you will enjoy this. (Netflix)

Heart of Stone (2023)

Bad guys are trying to steal "The Heart," a valuable but dangerous weapon from the good guys.

Rachel Stone (Gal Gadot) is pretending to be a newbie for MI6 but she is in fact a female version of Bond, James Bond, a field agent known as The Nine of Hearts.  She is a member of The Charter, a murky peacekeeping agency trying to keep "The Heart," a quantum computer capable of hacking into any digital device, safe.  

"If you own the Heart, you own the world."

However, when the film begins, no one at MI6 knows Stone's true identity.  She is on a mission in the Italian Alps with an MI6 team, along with Parker (Jamie Dornan) and Bailey (Paul Ready).  They are after a wanted arms dealer.  However their cover is blown and Stone engages in the longest cold opening in history (well, probably not history but it felt like it - but in a good way).

With that failed mission, Stone is called back to London where she is reprimanded by Nomad (Sophie Okonedo), her superior at The Charter, for nearly blowing her cover.  In the meantime, it is discovered that there is a hacker out there who is after "The Heart," Keya (Alia Bhatt), a young quantum computer expert who turns out to be Stone's arch nemesis set on not only stealing "The Heart" but exposing Stone. Lots of twists and turns ensue. 

Gal Gadot is a beautiful woman but I hate to say that she is not a very good actress.  Thankfully, we have Jamie Dornan who is a beautiful man and also a good actor aided by lots of action with some great car chases and the usual stuff we expect from action films which doesn't really require Gadot to chew too much scenery. But I do give Gadot some credit. She makes a good badass and there is nothing like a badass woman saving the day. And this movie, written by Greg Rucka and Allison Schroeder and directed by Tom Harper, doesn't have just one badass woman, but THREE!

Rosy the Reviewer says...though derivative of practically every action film ever, there is a big twist and the film has some exciting moments with great exotic locations but there were enough script holes that I sometimes didn't know what the hell was going on...but perhaps that's just me. However, if you like action, this one's got it. (Netflix)

Ghosted (2023)

Cole is a farmer and Sadie is an art curator (wink, wink).  They "meet cute," Cole is smitten and then Sadie disappears.  

Cole (Chris Evans) and Sadie (Ana de Armas) have a one night stand - a good one - and Cole, who is suffering from a recent breakup and has a reputation for being needy, wants to continue the relationship but Sadie disappears.  When he discovers she is in London, he decides to go there to surprise her (which won't help his reputation as being needy) only to find himself embroiled in some shady shenanigans.  

He is mistaken for the Tax Man (I never did figure out why) by a mysterious guy living under the Tower Bridge who tortures Cole with insects. Cole tries to convince the guy that he is just a dorky farmer but it doesn't work.  Sadie rescues him and, if we hadn't figured it out by now, we discover that our Sadie is NOT in fact an art curator but a CIA operative and our dorky farmer finds himself embroiled in a spy plot.  

So here we have another badass woman (see reviews above) who is trying to keep the world safe from the bad guys.  We are firmly in spy movie trope world. This time there is a case with a destructive device inside dubbed Aztec and bad guys are trying to get the code to open it. The main bad guy is Leveque (Adrien Brody) who has the device in a case and is trying to sell the device but doesn't have the code to open the case. Everyone thinks the Tax Man has the code and that Cole is the Tax Man. So if Cole is not the Tax Man, who is?  Gee, I wonder... 

Lots of action as would-be assassins and bounty hunters show up trying to get that dang code while Sadie and Cole argue and bicker in true rom-com fashion.

Chris Evans, best known these days as Captain America, is probably the last guy you would expect to be playing a dork, but here it works as he is at odds with the non-dorky Sadie while they fight off would-be assassins. The two bicker so much that every time they run into one of those assassins, there is a running gag where the would-be assassin says to them "Get a room!" And speaking of would-be assassins, that's another sort of running gag because each is played by a famous face in a cameo that lasts about five seconds. (Anthony Mackie, John Cho, Sebastian Stan, and even, Ryan Reynolds).

Written by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna and directed by Dexter Fletcher, there is some "Romancing the Stone" going on here and some fun action sequences like Sadie driving a colorful Pakistani bus backwards along some mountain passes (not sure how they got from the Tower Bridge in London to Pakistan so fast, but oh well, suspend disbelief) and a high rise rotating restaurant that runs amok.  It's all very OTT (that's Brit talk for over the top) but it's engaging and fun.

Rosy the Reviewer says...a stylized action film that won't tax your brain. (Apple+)

EPILOGUE:  All three films share similar action movie tropes but those tropes are why we watch, right? - so "Lights, Cameras, ACTION!"

Thanks for reading!

See you next time!

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to like it and share it on Facebook, Twitter, or other sites; email it to your friends and/or follow me on Facebook at 

And next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). Go to, find the movie you are interested in.  Scroll over to the right of the synopsis to where it says "Critic Reviews" - Click on that and if I have reviewed that film, you will find Rosy the Reviewer alphabetically on the list (NOTE:  IMDB keeps moving stuff around so if you don't find "Critics Reviews" where I am sending you, look around.  It's worth it)!

(NOTE:  If you are looking for a particular movie or series, check out this cool site: JustWatch.  It tells you where you can access all TV series and movies)