Movie Review: Heart of Stone

Netflix's big-budget romp is packed with action but devoid of thought.


You see, it’s called “Heart of Stone” because the main character is named Rachel Stone, and she has to get this powerful doodad called the Heart. So … “Heart of Stone.”

Yes, that’s exactly how they would’ve named the movie if it were a gag on “The Simpsons.”

Let that stroke of linguistic genius dictate your expectations for the film, a brainless actioner hoping to attract half-attentive eyeballs on Netflix. Gal Godot stars as the titular Stone, a super-spy working for a clandestine intelligence agency called the Charter. (No, nothing in this movie has a decent name.)

She’s undercover with MI6 — yes, she’s a spy masquerading as … a spy — when some mysterious baddies and arms dealers make a play at the also-titular Heart, a hovering supercomputer that can hack anything and control everything. (Just like every macguffin in an action movie made in the last 10 years.) To save the world, Stone has to cobble together a globetrotting group of allies and survive a nearly unbroken series of action sequences.

“Heart of Stone” is not simply a movie devoid of ideas, it’s a story in active opposition to them: There is no content here that is not connective tissue for ultimately meaningless fisticuffs and gunplay. The animated opening credits suggest a digital-era James Bond, but “Heart of Stone” is not nearly as witty or artful as that franchise; the better comparison is “John Wick,” but without the style.

Godot is undoubtedly a movie star, but she’s miscast here. She’s transcendent as Wonder Women because she’s a bit superhuman — she carries herself like a demigod, not a mere mortal. Godot playing an undercover operative, then, is like Kevin Hart trying to play deadpan.

“Heart of Stone” isn’t lacking in dramatic images — an exploding, metallic zeppelin is certainly worth looking at — and the constant pace will at least keep viewers mildly entertained. But every scene feels like you’re sitting in a hotel room and just turned on an in-progress movie on HBO; you’re not really paying attention, but it absolutely doesn’t matter.

My Rating: 4/10

“Heart of Stone” is now streaming on Netflix.

Categories: Sean Collier’s Popcorn for Dinner