At The Movies With Josh: J-Lo in, The Mother

I’ve had great enjoyment from “mothers” when it comes to songs. The song “Mother” by Pink Floyd is their most underrated tune. And classically trained violinist Tracy Bonham has done a few great rock albums, one with the song “Mother Mother.” And when hearing Jim Morrison sing about his mother on “The End” when I was 7-years-old…well, that scarred me.

I was also scarred watching the Darren Aronofsky movie mother! with Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem. It was one of the worst movies of 2017 (there’s a scene where Jennifer Lawrence has a baby and it’s passed around a room of admirers of her husband’s poetry, and they start eating the baby). Now it’s a new Jennifer L. – Jennifer Lopez. And no babies were harmed in the filming. Although they tried. There’s an early scene where she’s pregnant, and stabbed in the stomach by a gun runner who wants to kill her for talking to the FBI. There are also plenty of animals shot and killed, so if you’re an animal lover, and the idea of watching a woman living off the land by shooting moose and rabbits, also probably not for you.

In fact, this movie isn’t really for anybody. It’s so utterly ridiculous.

I sometimes joke in reviews about how 83% of all movies have a vomit scene. This movie has one. Legendary movie critic Roger Ebert joked about how if you see a fruit stand on the side of a road, a car will drive into it. That happened here, too. This movie might be the most predictable film I’ve ever seen. Anytime something was happening on screen, I could tell you what would happen next. For example, when she tells the FBI agents the safehouse they’re in isn’t safe, one of them is standing next to a window going on and on about how safe it is. Any guesses on what happens to him?

Anyway, the FBI ends up making her give up her baby because they claim it won’t be safe with her, since the two bad guys on the loose are after her. She gives it up, but makes the lone FBI agent she saved promise – she’ll get a photo each year on the girl's birthday.

Of course, that means we’ll get the scenes of mother showing up to watch her (as a 12-year-old, played by Lucy Paez) play at school, to see how she’s become a great kid; and to feel sad she couldn’t be the mother that’s raising her. Oh wait…there are two suspicious looking vans pulling up. What could that be about? And what could the mom possibly do to protect her? Ah yes, she’s got a supply of guns she brings with her when she watches the kiddo play. Not only is the action rife with the same old cliches we’ve seen a million times before, it’s poorly done. For example, the FBI agent and the ‘mother’ go to Cuba. Not sure why the Feds would let him bring her, but they do. They’re able to shoot about 10 different armed security guys around the mansion of a bad guy, and…he’s got a room that’s filled with lots of lit candles, booze, as well as a bunch of guns on the bed. I couldn’t figure out what was happening in that room. Was he about to seduce an AK-47? She kills him last, as he tries to rape her and they make some kind of jokes about using a “safe word” during the struggle.

While they’re driving back to Cincinnati the girl looks suspiciously at this woman. She starts Googling on her phone and then says, “Hey wait. Are you the woman that did that half time show at the Super Bowl?”

Okay, I josh. She asked, “Are you my real mom?”

And from there, even more hijinks ensue! Those would include mom taking her child out to the snow, and training her to shoot, stab, fight, and drive a truck. It was the dumbest set of scenes you might see this year. What makes it worse is the fact that you can’t stand either of these two characters. The girl is bratty and the mom is trying to do a tough-love thing that just comes off like she’s a big jerk.

They wasted the talents of Joseph Fiennes and Gael Garcia Bernal. I do give them credit for casting Paul Raci, a very interesting actor who made a big splash as the tough teacher in the Sound of Metal a few years ago. 

After seeing the great job Ben Afleck did directing and starring in Air, I wonder what in the world he’s going to say to his new wife when he watches this. Is he even going to pretend he liked it? Is he going to ask her if she realized how ridiculous it was as she was reading the lines, or did she just think it would all be cleaned up with cool stunts and editing in post?

This is going to be released on Netflix this weekend. If you feel like wasting two hours of your life, watch it.

0 stars.

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