Rachel Stone is an intelligence operative agent who serves a powerful peacekeeping organization, The Charter. She bonds closely with her colleagues while working with MI6 (a government organization). Despite several warnings to keep her identity hidden due to enemies trying to attack the Heart (a system that controls the Charter), she gets vulnerable in a hasty situation. This opens the door for hackers to take over. Now, Rachel will have to take the matter into hand and save the world. Will she win the fight or let the world burn to the ground?
Heart of Stone brings out Gal Gadot (Rachel Stone) in a whole new avatar. After her famous role as Wonder Woman, she is now all set to show what else she can bring to the table. The movie has a lot of action scenes including jumping from a cliff, (Hey Tom Cruise!), driving a motorcycle on the runway, close combat, and falling from the sky! The story is intriguing with a few twists and turns and lots of running in the street. Director Tom Harper known for his variety of films ranging from adventure to musical has clearly kept Mission Impossible in his mind while bringing the vision on screen. The cinematography George Steel brought his A-Game with many scenes actually keeping you engaged. It is an action-drama with a lot of characters that come together to fight the enemy.
Talking about the whole setup, the peaceful organization is similar to ECHELON in The Bourne Ultimatum. It keeps an eye on every civilian and has information about them. Using the data, Rachel Stone and her gang try to save the world from potential threats. They have code names for each other just like James Bond. On the other hand, Jamie Dornan and Alia Bhatt (Keya Dhawan) team up to take over the organization and gain control over the world to destroy a mafia that ruined the latter’s life. Keya is an IT/Tech person who can hack into systems and is well aware of the dark web. She enters in the first 10 minutes of the film to show that she controls the whole game.
The whole film works well with the vision of the director and takes you through the whole world through coordinates. Beautiful locations and roads for endless chase scenes. The script allows some space for a breather in the 123 minutes of the movie for you to connect the dots. While the first half builds up to the climax, the second half works in bits and pieces, especially the scene where Gal Gadot is in the air. The climax is predictable with an emotional note and drops a hint that it can turn into a high-octane action franchise.
What Doesn’t Work?
Watching Gal Gadot on screen is a delight, but Heart of Stone doesn’t do much justice to her. She carries the film, no doubt, but honestly, her character deserves more depth. The movie feels stretched at times and with so many loopholes. If you are like me, there will come a time when you will search for the story behind a character’s personality. Why did they turn into a bad person? What started their villain arc? This movie fails to give proper notes about how Parker and Keya ended up meeting and decided to take over the world. Moreover, there are a lot of scenes that will remind you of Fast & Furious as well as John Wick. (Hint: Chase scene in a public place where people are screaming their lungs out).
The film tries to engage the characters in endless conversation without giving much material to the audience. In some places, you might just check your phone and yet be well aware of what might have happened in the story. Oh! Not to forget Matthias Schweighöfer who is known for his role as Werner Heisenberg in Oppenheimer is no less than Tony Stark’s Jarvis in this movie. He works on hologram projection with all the details about what is happening around the world and talks exactly like him but makes it a bit humorous. His role as Jack of Hearts could have been used in a better way. There are certain scenes that feel unnecessary and too long. One might feel like skipping so the story moves forward.
Lastly, the movie fails to leave a mark despite good action scenes. With such a great star cast, one expects the movie to blow your mind but this one will take its time. After the movie ends, you will remember Gal and nobody else. Her charming yet captivating persona along with the ‘I will break your jaw’ attitude keeps the film afloat.
Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone is all-in-one. She knows how to hack, talk to the villain and make them change their mind (basically Naruto) and also most importantly how to fight with guns and jump off the cliff. Her whole sequence at the beginning of the movie will make you fall in love with her all over again. Talking about her acting, she tends to move around a lot trying to do the right thing. She is a dedicated agent who will do anything and everything to save the Heart/Charter from falling down. After Red Notice, it was good to see her performance in the lead role in Heart of Stone.
Jamie Dornan (Parker) known for his infamous role as Christian Grey shows us how powerful he can get as a villain. He is charming with a hint of dominance in him. While being the biggest twist in the movie, his character development doesn’t get what it deserves. There are way too many loose ends for him to actually ace the role. His fighting scenes and dialogue delivery is top notch but his villainous role falls short.
Talking about Alia Bhatt (Keya Dhawan) plays the role of the second villain who is tech-smart. She knows how to hack into systems with taps of buttons and also can give threats like it is nothing. She takes charge of stealing the Heart along with Parker and well, the whole action sequence begins. This movie marks her Hollywood Debut where her role feels a little overshadowed. She tries hard to maintain the flow of the movie but feels out of place in certain places. Her character is quite interesting and given her history with a variety of roles, Keya is a whole new field for her to explore. In places, you will feel that her character needed more screen time and more explanation behind what she was doing. Overall, Alia did a decent job as Keya but there’s still space for improvement.
Heart of Stone movie review: Final Verdict
Heart of Stone is a one-time watch for all the action that it brings. The movie could have been better but nonetheless, it is watchable. Personally, I believe the film deserves two stars but given the amazing star cast and action scenes, I would like to add half more. If you are into action drama, don’t miss Heart of Stone on Netflix!
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