The Mother Netflix Film Review

Movie Bunker Score:

The Mother: A Disappointing Action Film Starring Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez, known for her role in action films like Anaconda and Enough, takes the lead once again in The Mother. Directed by Niki Caro, this movie had the potential to break the streak of mediocre J-Lo action flicks. Unfortunately, it falls short due to its poor writing, haphazard editing, and lackluster execution.

Missed Opportunities in Action

Similar to Caro’s previous film, Mulan, The Mother suffers from over-editing in every action scene. Shots are cut so rapidly that it becomes a dizzying and frustrating experience for the audience. Despite having great ideas for thrilling setpieces such as a snowmobile chase in Alaska or a foot chase in Havana, these scenes are wasted due to the hyperactive editing. It’s a shame that the audience can’t fully appreciate the effort put into crafting these sequences.

The final fight scene between the Mother (played by Lopez) and Adrian Lovell (Joseph Fiennes) is a head-scratcher. Even non-fighting confrontation sequences are edited to the point of nausea. The encounter between the Mother and arms dealer Héctor Álvarez (Gael García Bernal) is a prime example of this technique gone wrong, showcasing unintentional hilarity rather than tension.

Aesthetically Challenged

Beyond the editing issues, the cinematography by Ben Seresin fails to elevate the film visually. As a director of photography who previously worked on Michael Bay’s visually stunning Pain & Gain, Seresin’s work in The Mother is disappointingly lackluster. The mixture of fisheye and bokeh results in a bizarre and unattractive visual style that doesn’t complement the story or action.

An Uninspired Plot

The Mother’s plot is both confusing and uninspired. Following the unwritten rule of action movies centered on kidnapping, the abducted character should only be kidnapped once. However, in this film, Zoe, the daughter of the Mother, gets kidnapped multiple times, indicating a poorly-written screenplay.

The Mother discovers a secret held by human traffickers Lovell and Álvarez, who also happened to be her business partners. Placed under the FBI’s protection, she develops a friendship with FBI agent William Cruise (Omari Hardwick). However, Zoe’s abduction by Álvarez triggers a chain of events that leads to her second kidnapping by Lovell. The decision made by Zoe to perpetuate this cycle of abductions is nonsensical and frustrating for the audience.

Underutilized Performances

While the performances in The Mother are underwhelming overall, Jennifer Lopez stands out as the one bright spot. Despite the film’s flaws, she brings a level of dedication to her role that surpasses the rest of the cast. Lopez’s moments of badassery are evident, but unfortunately, they are overshadowed by the film’s editing flaws.

Joseph Fiennes and Gael García Bernal, both talented actors, are completely wasted in their roles as the main antagonists. The lack of character development for Hardwick, Raci, and Paez further hinders the film’s impact.


The Mother fails to live up to its potential as an action film, plagued by poor writing, haphazard editing, and uninspired plot choices. While Jennifer Lopez delivers a dedicated performance, she is let down by the film’s overall execution. It’s disappointing to see a talented actress like Lopez not being able to find the right projects to showcase her action talents.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is The Mother a stand-alone film or part of a series?

The Mother is a stand-alone film and does not belong to any existing series or franchise.

2. Where can I watch The Mother?

The Mother is currently available for streaming on Netflix worldwide.

3. Are there any other notable performances in the movie?

While Jennifer Lopez stands out with her dedicated performance, the other actors in The Mother have limited opportunities to shine. Joseph Fiennes and Gael García Bernal, in particular, are underutilized in their respective roles.

4. Does The Mother have any redeeming qualities?

Despite its flaws, The Mother does have moments where Jennifer Lopez’s action skills shine through. The parking lot sniper fight scene is a highlight, showcasing Lopez’s abilities in an otherwise flawed film.

5. Does The Mother leave room for a potential sequel?

The Mother’s storyline concludes in a way that doesn’t necessarily hint at a possible sequel. However, in the unpredictable world of Hollywood, anything is possible.