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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

May 19, 2023




WE LIKE J LO. Her last film, ‘Shotgun Wedding’, was vilified by U.S. critics, but who cares? 

It’s a pleasure for us and we don’t even feel guilty. 

The same goes for her new movie, “The Mother”, where she goes into action mode. Critics won’t like it, but this is not made for them but for those who love J Lo.

She plays a former soldier and deadshot military sniper in the Middle East who has reportedly killed 46 people.  We don’t know her name. She’s just the Mother.

 While serving in Afghanistan, she meets British army sergeant Adrian Lovell (Joseph Fiennes) and an arms dealer Hector Alvarez (Gael Garcia Bernal.)  She gets romantically involved with both of them.

She helps them in doing some nefarious arms smuggling deals and also gets romantically involved with both of them. 

But she is infuriated when she discovers that they are also into human trafficking, including children.

At that point, she contacts the American government and betrays them to the FBI,which includes William Cruise (Omari Hardwick). 

But Lovell follows the Mother. She is with FBI agent William Cruise (Omari Hardwick) when Lovell arrives and kills the FBI agents that are supposed to protect her. 

Cruise is shot but she saves him. She hides in the toilet and hurriedly comes up with a make shift bomb.

Lovell gets to stab her on the tummy before the bomb explodes. It turns out she is pregnant. She survives the stabbing and gives birth to a healthy baby girl in the hospital. 

A military officer tells her it will be best for her to give up her baby for adoption as her daughter will never be safe with her since she’s wanted by her enemies. 

She agrees then goes hiding in an isolated cabin in Alaska.

12 years quickly pass then Cruise gets in touch with her. It turns out her daughter is in danger because Hector Alvarez has discovered her whereabouts. 

The Mother then leaves her self-imposed isolation and returns to civilization to protect her daughter, Zoey (Lucy Paez.)

She is looking at Zoey playing in the park when Hector’s henchmen arrive. 

She succeeds in shooting down many of Hector’s men but they still succeed in taking the child. 

She then has no choice but to go Hector’s mansion in Cuba called The Plantation, to rescue Zoey. 

She is able to retrieve Zoey but then, Lovell and his men step in to get her. 

She and Zoey are able to escap and she takes her to her remote cabin in Alaska. It is there where Lovell pursues her and where their final showdown happens amidst all the snowy surroundings.

J Lo is quite impressive in this female-centric action-drama. 

She is persuasive as a hardened, stoic combat veteran who has a hard time adjusting back to normal civilian life but has her maternal instincts intact. 

The movie is also directed by a woman, Niki Caro, the New Zealand filmmaker best known for the acclaimed “Whale Rider” and the live action version of “Mulan”.

Caro executes well all the kinetic action set pieces and she could have resorted into mawkish sentiment in the mother-daughter scenes, but she chooses not to go soft until the end. 

She treats the plight of the Mother with a grim seriousness underlining the emotional turbulence experienced by the major characters. 

The narrative moves with a fast pace and a propulsive energy that keeps you interested up to the very end.  

J Lo obviously works well with her director as they relate on screen the compelling tale of a mother who is out to protect her endangered daughter at all costs.