Film Review: Heart of Stone (2023)

Netflix continue to roll out soulless if watchable blockbusters like this Gal Gadot-starring Heart of Stone

“Stay in the van”

Netflix really has nailed this conveyor belt of brainless action thrillers – the kinda films to open a bag of Butterkist to and have on in the background of some serious scrolling. Heart of Stone joins that list with its sub-Mission Impossible noodlings, taking its band of attractive spies from swanky location to swanky location whilst battling to save the world/be shocked by a betrayal/fight in the dark/reboot a computer.

This much it does relatively effectively. Lisbon looks fantastic as a car chase rams through its cobbled streets, a luxe Alpine resort stages the opening stunts well and Reykjavik takes a bit of a battering at the end. The likes of Jamie Dornan, Jing Lusi and Sophie Okonedo look shiny as MI-5 agents take on the shadowy organisation known as the Charter. And we’re introduced to the supercomputer that everyone wants a piece of.

Directed efficiently by Tom Harper, this is brainless fun with some decent action set-pieces to grab the attention occasionally. Greg Rucka and Allison Schroeder’s screenplay is barely functional though, lacking character development or believable technobabble and leading the cast, Gal Gadot’s Rachel Stone struggles to enhance the material in a way to really justify her leading lady status here. Paul Ready is good fun though.

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