Jennifer Lopez has been promoting her new Netflix movie, ‘The Mother’, which was released at the same time as her ex-fiancé, Ben Affleck’s, movie, ‘Hypnotic.’ Our relationship with celebrity couples is often so intense that it can be difficult to view them separately, especially when they work in the same industry. In this case, it is best to keep the focus on the quality of each movie. Fortunately, there is no need to hold back in stating that “The Mother” is not worth watching, especially if you are looking for a successful Mother’s Day treat.
Lopez is a talented actress, as evidenced by her Oscar-nominated role in “Hustlers,” but unfortunately, her latest work falls well short of that standard. In The Mother, she is a former sniper whose life changes when her past comes back to haunt her. The movie, directed by Niki Caro, is composed of genre clichés, lacking purpose, from the head-scratching sequences to the unintentional giggles. The opening sequence gets the audience’s attention, with Lopez’s character negotiating a witness-protection deal in exchange for her testimony against two very bad guys, both of whom she has had relationships with. After a violent raid, she is taken into FBI custody, and her newborn daughter is taken from her to protect her. 12 years later, when her daughter’s identity is revealed, the action heads north to Alaska.
The movie gives Lopez the opportunity to snap off tough one-liners, and it’s difficult not to compare it to “Taken.” She delivers her lines with the conviction of someone who has no doubt about the outcome. This is the only highlight of the movie because the action is cluttered with clichés and poor execution. Lopez’s co-stars, Joseph Fiennes and Gael Garcia Bernal, are also wasted in roles that seem forced. In the end, no amount of bonding between mother and daughter underlined by lessons in combat techniques can save the movie. It is disappointing to see Lopez revert to forgettable vehicles such as “Marry Me” and “Shotgun Wedding,” instead of presenting projects that showcase her immense talent.
In contrast, Ben Affleck’s movie, “Hypnotic,” directed by Robert Rodriguez, was a spare thriller that delivered on its promises. Affleck played a detective, Danny Rourke, in search of his daughter’s abductor. A psychic, played by Alice Braga, leads him to a powerful hypnotic played by William Fichtner, who possesses unique mind control abilities. Unlike “The Mother,” the movie delivers a fascinating storyline with twists, fast-paced action, and stunning visuals that leave you questioning what is real and what is not. Rodriguez’s fantastic filmmaking style is highlighted in a movie that should play well on streaming services. Hypnotic is a compelling film that has no time for clichés, and it solidifies Affleck’s status as one of the finest actors in Hollywood.
In conclusion, the couple’s two new movies highlight the ever-confusing area of celebrity-coupledom and maintaining focus on individual talent. Though Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez have recently rekindled their romance, it is best not to allow their relationship to color our view of their new movies. However, given the split decision of their latest releases, it’s a better weekend in the Affleck household than it is in the Lopez home.
<< photo by Trung Nguyen >>
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