HEART OF STONE
Starring: Gal Gadot, Jamie Dornan, Alia Bhatt, Matthias Schweighöfer, Sophie Okonedo, Archie Madekwe, Jing Lusi
Director: Tom Harper
I’ll give Heart of Stone credit where it’s due: its narrative is surprisingly ambitious. The concept of a global military being governed by A.I. is interesting, but the thriller fails to capitalise on its own potential. The film is plagued by dull action sequences, tacky licensed music, and some seriously egregious green-screen utilisation. The script isn’t awful, but the material is severely hampered by Gal Gadot, who delivers what may be her most unconvincing performance yet. I wish it took advantage of its promising concept, but Heart of Stone seems content with being disposable.
To give you an idea about the level of intelligence we are dealing with in Heart of Stone, it’s about secret agent Rachel Stone (Gal Gadot) trying to protect an A.I. system called “The Heart.” Get it?! HEART…of STONE?! Beyond that, this is the Wish.com version of a Mission: Impossible movie (I mean, Dead Reckoning literally just did an A.I. storyline), featuring listless action scenes that are poorly directed. Plus, I’m sorry, but Gal Gadot, who I’m sure is a very lovely person, isn’t a very good actress. This is just another algorithm-driven Netflix offering that is big on star power but little else.
Heart of Stone immediately kicks off the action without doing us the courtesy of providing any sort of character development. Gal Gadot does her job as the marketing ploy to bring in viewers, doing fine with what she is given to work with, and as a knock-off of a poorly developed James Bond film, it makes sense that it’s a streaming release. If you can make it through the first half, the plotline does start to come together eventually, and it isn’t totally without merit; I’d suggest watching this after a long workday, or in the background while doing household chores.
Heart of Stone is a forgettable and unoriginal spy thriller with little-to-no character development and a one-note performance from Gal Gadot, playing the central character aptly named Rachel Stone. The film features some engaging action, and it does get better over its runtime, but it constantly evokes films that I’d rather be watching. A blatantly CGI-ed skydiving scene made me think of Tom Cruise’s impressive stunts in recent instalments of the Mission: Impossible franchise, and the pre-opening title sequence in the Italian Alps reminded me of better scenes from James Bond. A good film to stick on in the background!
Heart of Stone is a perfectly serviceable action movie, albeit a very predictable one. There is no real style or substance to be found in Gal Gadot’s latest outing, but for a generic straight-to-streaming film, it succeeds as something loud and explosive to switch your brain off to after a long day at work. For the most part, the film is well shot and filled with adequate performances as the cast jumps from one locale to the next. For a film that feels like it was made from a rejected James Bond script, it’s fine.