Synopsis: A military-trained assassin comes out of hiding to protect the daughter she’s never met from ruthless criminals gunning for revenge.
What We Thought:
Jennifer Lopez plays a military-trained assassin in The Mother. Your reaction to that sentence will be your reaction to the movie. If you laugh at the idea of Jenny from the Block with a Glock then the movie isn’t for you. If your reaction was “OMG I love J-Lo!”, then you’ll like it.
I watched the trailer for The Mother before deciding to see the movie. I thought it looked ridiculous, but in that potentially good way, a movie you’re laughing AT not WITH. I have no problem with movies being ludicrous if they are entertaining, but unfortunately this takes itself way too seriously. Instead of going with the concept of a crowd laughing along, they went with Jennifer Lopez: American Sniper. Maybe Jennifer Lopez is a lovely woman in person, I’ve never met her, but you don’t look at her and think she’s a military veteran who’s seen the horrors of war.
The fact they took it seriously is the film’s biggest flaw. Some of the action is solid, I’ll get that in a minute, but because it tried to be an action movie ala Taken or Peppermint, the errors in that seriousness stand out. In one scene J-Lo and a federal agent invade a mansion in Cuba to rescue her daughter. They go in with a plan. Unfortunately that plan involves cutting the power to the mansion. Good idea if you bring night vision or optics to see in the dark, but they don’t. They cut the power then walk around the mansion with flashlights. So you cut the power so the bad guys can’t see you, but you walk around with a flashlight giving away your location? That defeats the tactical purpose of cutting the juice. Kill the electricity, get some optics from the federal agent and go in when your enemy is blinded. It would have made for a great scene in the dark, but instead we got J-Lo walking around with a flashlight looking for her daughter while the enemy can see her coming in their direction.
It’s also a movie you see everything coming a mile away. At one point an SUV carrying two people is driving down a rural road coming to a crossroads. It’s shot by a helicopter or most likely a drone so you see the SUV from behind heading to this intersection. If a vehicle is heading to a four-way stop you can probably guess someone’s getting T-boned from the side. If you can’t figure that out you’ve never seen a movie before.
But like I said some of the action is pretty good. There’s a chase scene on foot and with vehicles that might not rival a Jason Bourne flick, but is shockingly good for a movie like this. I always like a good snowmobile chase and the one here isn’t bad. It reminded me of that episode of Archer with the snowmobiles. J-Lo throwing punches at a man she’s torturing wasn’t choreographed all that well, but the action in the movie is far from a negative.
Am I nitpicking a movie that sees Jennifer Lopez as an assassin? Yes I am because overall I actually liked the concept of The Mother and it had some positives in it. The locations were cool with the great weather of Cuba and the cold, wintery environment of Alaska. The story could have worked well with a different cast maybe. Jennifer Lopez is one of the most famous people on the planet so when you see her in this you automatically think J-Lo unfortunately and not trained killer. I thought the young actress playing the daughter looked close enough to actually be her daughter, but don’t expect this to turn into a franchise like Taken.