Heavily promoted with a recognizable star in the titular role, Heart of Stone is one of those big Netflix releases. Likely also one that thinks it’ll produce an eventual sequel (you know, after we’ve forgotten about this one), the film has pros and cons.
Heart of Stone (2023) Netflix Film Review
Working as a spy is something Rachel Stone (Gal Gadot) is good at. The thing is, while she goes out into the field, she always stays in the van as the tech support. But today, her mission, along with that of her three teammates, isn’t going to plan. She cannot hack the network unless she becomes a field agent, at least long enough to hack the signal from the phone of a security guard. While the mission still has a hiccup or two, the team, including Yang (Jing Lusi), Baily (Paul Ready) and Parker (Jamie Dornan) make it out alive.
But what Parker doesn’t know is the henchman of the target he has with him, waits for him at the bottom of his escape route. This forces Rachel to call on the Charter, the obscure organization she really works for, which uses a tool called the Heart, all in the hopes she can do what she does best, save lives and minimize damage.
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I’ll say this, I did thoroughly enjoy this film. It’s non-stop with its pace and keeps up the excitement with multiple action sequences. Best of all, it does one thing right. Likened to James Bond in fair comparisons, I also think this probably uses films like the Mission: Impossible franchise as inspiration, too.
What this does well is creating a new character rather than simply a gender swap of an already iconic character. I would rather filmmakers do this than try and sell audiences a “remake,” that gender swaps a character. Heart of Stone doesn’t go easy on anyone in this film. It’s all about adrenaline and high-octane action sequences. I think Gadot does them well, and the first “big” scene is exciting and cool. I will say, I think the film could have cut back some on the action and also produced a slightly shorter film, but the two hours doesn’t slow or cause us to be annoyed by its constant moving parts.
Like we already mentioned, Gadot is good in this role. She makes things look effortless and I think she fits the role well. Additionally, her supporting cast which also includes Sophie Okonedo, Matthias Schweighöfer, and in her “Hollywood” debut, Alia Bhatt. Everyone is good and while we sadly don’t get to know anyone too deeply. I appreciate the little personality moments between Rachel and Baily, as well as the way Rachel changes to realize that her heart is sometimes the better thing to listen to.
The film isn’t perfect, like anything, but Heart of Stone is a good time. Especially if you like action films. If that describes you, this one has your name on it.
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Content: this one has lots of action sequences, and death. The action sequences often end with someone being “beat up” just from them getting from point a to b, and then often at point b, there’s either baddies with weapons or a person waiting for a hand-to-hand combat scene. There’s at least two explosions with debris reining everywhere. A woman is beat up more than once. Two people are shot point blank. Weapons fire off everywhere and there’s several scenes of hand-to-hand combat, but none are graphic beyond the usual PG-13 rating standard.
Photos: Skydance / Netflix