Jennifer Lopez shines in Netflix’s newest action-thriller, The Mother. The 53-year-old actress plays U.S. military operative on the run from dangerous killers while protecting her daughter, Zoe, (Lucy Paez) gave up as a baby. The Mother became pregnant after getting romantically involved with ex-SAS marine, Adrian Lovell (Joseph Fiennes) and arms dealer, Hector Alvarez (Gael Garcia Bernal). However, after discovering that both men are involved in child trafficking, The Mother reveals the information to the FBI. Though the movie never reveals which one is the father of The Mother’s baby, it is suggested that it is Adrian.
Lopez’s character is unnamed, only giving the audience the title of “The Mother.” She is fearless, rugged, and determined.
After being interrogated at a safe house by Special Agent William Cruise, Adrian kills the other FBI agents and shoots Cruise. Cruise survives the attack. Once alone with The Mother, Adrian stabs The Mother’s pregnant stomach. The Mother and her baby girl survive the attack, but the baby is placed in foster care as Adrian is on the run and a threat to her and her baby. She agrees, knowing that Cruise will keep an eye on her child.
The Mother spends twelve years hiding out at a cabin in Alaska until Cruise contacts her from Ohio. He informs her that Zoe’s location and identity have been compromised. While at the park with her adoptive mother, Hector’s men kidnap Zoe. After traveling to Cuba to find Zoe, The Mother discovers her daughter at the man’s home before killing him.
The Mother returns Zoe to Ohio but still has not revealed who she really is to the young girl. Even though Zoe figures out that her rescuer is her mother, The Mother denies it. Before Cruise can return Zoe to her adoptive parents, Adrian kills him.
The Mother takes Zoe to her cabin in Alaska, where she teaches the 12-year-old how to drive, hunt, and shoot. The final throwdown between The Mother and Adrian ends with his failed attempt to kidnap Zoe after The Mother shoots him dead. In the final scenes of the movie, The Mother is no longer in hiding, and Zoe has returned to her old life.
The movie received mixed reviews from critics. However, I found it the type of watch that keeps viewers rooting for The Mother from start to finish. Though Lopez plays a woman whose past experiences drive her to be cold and detached, viewers witness her unique approach to showing love and compassion. Though at first, she refused to admit her relationship to Zoe, she spent over a decade making sure the young girl was protected and educating her like most parents would not.
I did enjoy the movie. But aside from Cruise’s death, I feel that The Mother saving her daughter and the killing their enemies were predictable events. And when the movie ended with The Mother waving to her daughter from the window of an apartment building, I wondered if they continued their relationship after The Mother came out of hiding. The movie was pretty vague about that.