Established as the beginning of a spy franchise akin to Star Gal Gadot, “Mission: Impossible,” or James Bond films, Tom Harper’s “Heart of Stone” is one of those “viral” movies trying to make an equivalent impact. It’s a mishmash film better calibrated, lacking its own original ideas, full of stock characters, and brought to life with uninspired filmmaking.
Table of Contents
Heart Of Stone Movie Review
Gadot portrays Rachel Stone, a member of a secret peacekeeping campaign called Charter, who covertly works as a novice MI6 technical agent. Her job takes her and the film from the Alps to London, Lisbon to Senegal, and finally Iceland, yet manages to capture all these locations in the most boring way possible.
Sophie Okonedo, lacking vitality, plays her boss, Nomad, who recruits her at the age of 20. Why? We don’t know anything! Has she already been trained, or was she trained after being recruited? “Heart of Stone” doesn’t care.
Netflix actor Matthias Schweighofer plays the role of “Jack of Hearts,” Rachel’s technical support, always plugged into a supercomputer known as The Heart, which allows him to use surveillance data to assist her missions. This data is visualized in front of him, which he manipulates with his own hands. It’s pretty cool… when Tom Cruise’s character does it in “Minority Report.” Here, it comes off as a shallow and artless imitation.
The mission of the charter has been explained multiple times through exposition-heavy dialogue. In fact, most characters speak in expressions, hard winks, or melodramatic monologues. Actors Paul Ready and Jing Lusi, as Stone’s friends Bailey and Yang, do an excellent job with their well-written parts, but they don’t get enough screen time to fully flesh out their characters.
Jamie Dornan plays her teammate Parker, a softer version of Colin Farrell in “Daredevil,” which is embarrassing as his role requires overacting at maximum volume. The same goes for Aaliya Bhatt as Hacker Kiya, who never moves beyond many clichéd character traits. Only model-turned-actor John Cortajarena, a blonde, whitewashed villain in a flashy suit, understands what such an evil role needs.
This is particularly disappointing from co-screenwriter Greg Rucka, who had a similar ensemble in his graphic novel adaptation “The Old Guard,” but with more depth and developed characters. It also helps that film director Gina Prince-Blythewood has repeatedly proven herself as an outstanding director of actors, both in performances and action scenes. She has a sharp eye.
The same cannot be said for Harper, who can’t frame his actors properly – or ignite them – resulting in many shaky, unclear fight scenes. The rest of the action sequences are largely borrowed from better films. The chilly opening in the Alps is mostly lifted from various Bond films, while many aerial action scenes feel like cheap “Mission: Impossible” knock-offs. There’s even a sequence reminiscent of “The Rocketeer,” culminating in a big finale – but with CGI fire that looks worse than the effects from the 1991 film (and far less enjoyable).
The weak filmmaking does no favors for Gadot, who can kick and punch well, but can’t express much beyond a vague facial expression. This might be less of an issue if her fight scenes were shot in a way that showcased her physical abilities. Harper’s coverage is all over the place, along with blurry lighting. He has no idea how to film a movie star.
The film also fails in terms of substance. It throws around words like “neutralism” without exploring how philosophy influences character actions, how Hart uses an algorithm to maximize life-saving in any situation. Stone engages in lengthy conversations with film villains about whether it’s right for them to use their powers to take out people on their naughty list. But she never questions the Charter’s own brand of intervention – or that large-scale surveillance use is akin to totalitarianism.
Even when dangerous information is presented about the Charter’s past, Stone and the film ignore the implications of incompleteness. The script could have blamed the mistakes of one leader rather than the foundation itself, making it much leaner or the institution it suggested.
“Heart of Stone” sidesteps all these moral quandaries by killing off several characters and rebuilding Stone with an entirely new team. Nevertheless, this is the era of IPs, sequels, and franchises. It’s also the era of big data. So, I guess it’s time for us to get soulless films, whose sole purpose is to launch new female-dominated franchises, which in some ways also serve as pro-surveillance state propaganda.
Now streaming on Netflix.
Is “Heart of Stone” a good movie?
Certainly, “Heart of Stone” has received a various of reviews from audiences and critics. While some celebrate His acting style is impressive and the performance is strong, others have expressed concern about his lack of originality and weak story lines.
What is the movie “Heart of Stone” about?
“Heart of Stone” follows the journey of Rachel Stone, portrayed by Gal Gadot, who is a member of a covert peacekeeping campaign known as the “Charter.” Working as a rookie MI6 technical agent, she’s assigned secretive missions that take her across various global locations. The film expertly blends elements of action, espionage, and intrigue as Stone navigates dangerous situations while attempting to uncover hidden agendas.
Is “Heart of Stone” available on Netflix?
Yes, “Heart of Stone” is indeed available for streaming on Netflix. You can watch it on the platform to witness Gal Gadot’s portrayal of Rachel Stone in her captivating espionage adventures.
Will there be a “Heart of Stone 2”?
As of now, there’s no official confirmation regarding a sequel to “Heart of Stone.” The decision to make a sequel depends on various factors, including the success of the first film, audience interest, and the decisions of filmmakers and production companies. Fans will need to stay tuned for any announcements concerning the potential continuation of the storyline.