Heart of Stone

Gal Gadot thrives over a familiar action story.

Gal Gadot has made herself into action movie actress with roles in “Fast & Furious 6” and “Wonder Woman,” and even her lousy espionage comedy “Red Notice” had to be a big hit on Netflix. Now, she’s back with another made-for-Netflix action flick called “Heart of Stone,” which may have too much plot for us to really be focused on, but actually works because of her charms. She’s able to play a leading lady outside DC territory with more skills and less irritation than “Red Notice.”

In fact, I’ll take this over “Red Notice.” Thank you.

Gadot plays Rachel Stone, who has to be the tech girl in an MI6 agency dedicated to taking down a villain, who is poised to steal a deadly weapon. Her team also consists of the leader Parker (Jamie Dornan), the comms guy Bailey (Paul Ready), and the sharpshooter Yang (Jing Lusi). I think we can agree that her combat skills and common sense should make her more than qualified to be out in the field. But there’s a reason for that. She is a double agent, who is part of a secret government agency-even secret from other agencies-known as The Charter, and she, too, is after the villain.

The weapon is known as the Heart, which can control anything in its path and has access to everything. It can also cause a lot of destruction. “If you own the heart, you own the world,” as spoken. And it belongs to the Charter, whose members also include Rachel’s boss and mentor Nomad (Sophie Okonedo) and the tech specialist Jack of Hearts (Matthias Schweighofer from “Army of the Dead”). As well as a few familiar faces like BD Wong and Glenn Close.

Unfortunately, Rachel’s cover gets blown and Parker is revealed as a bad guy wanting revenge on the Charter. And he is also associated with a young hacker named Keya Dhawan (Ali Bhatt), who is young as she is tough. And she encrypted the Heart to her biometrics, so the weapon is useless without her.

In summation, the mission becomes harder than Rachel anticipated.

Keye is slightly less evil than Parker, because she hates the way he kills members of the Charter, innocent people, and even his MI6 team. She may be a hacker, but she isn’t a murderer.

“Heart of Stone” was directed by Tom Harper, whose last two entertaining movies were “Wild Rose” and “The Aeronauts.” Even though he doesn’t have screenwriters Greg Rucka (“The Old Guard”) and Allison Schroeder (“Hidden Figures”) providing us with an original story, he still spares no expense in the action sequences or the leading lady, villain, and hacker. Equally nice work comes within Gadot, Dornan, and Bhatt.

Why would I be praising an action film that doesn’t have a good story, after dealing with the formulaic noises of “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts?” Because there has to be someone who isn’t made out of CGI effects and who can break free from her usual roles. And Gadot is that lady.

I’ve already delivered my pans to “Red Notice,” but in the Netflix filmography, I had to deal with Adam Devine screaming like a girl when dealing with his bank robbing in-laws in “The Out-Laws.” Even though “Heart of Stone” isn’t comedy, I think this “Wonder Woman” star is able to handle whatever situation comes without looking so desperate. He could use a few pointers from her.

Rating: 3 out of 4.

This article was written by me with full support of the SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild of America strikes.

Streaming on Netflix

Categories: Action, Crime, Thriller

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