Gal Gadot’s high-flying, but forgettable escapade.


In the ever-expanding cosmos of movies, “Heart of Stone” feels like that fresh pair of kicks you impulse bought online. Looks great, fills a void, but not exactly the ones you’d showcase in your collection. Netflix, with their relentless hunger to stay atop the content food chain, presents another flick that drifts pleasantly but inconsequentially between the binaries of “oh, that was good” and “meh.”

Gal Gadot, our modern-day Amazonian queen, drops her lasso and tiara for a puffy flying-squirrel suit (because why not?). In the film, she’s Rachel Stone, the newbie of an MI6 squad, wide-eyed and always ready to learn. And if that sounds clichéd, just wait, there’s more. The motley crew is as eclectic as the pizza toppings after a night out. There’s the picture-sharing, cat-loving, ace driver Bailey (because everyone needs a fur-baby in their life). Then Yang, the quintessential boss lady who takes no crap, and of course, the slick Parker – dashing, with a side of ‘wait, where have I seen him before?’ played by the versatile Jamie Dornan.

Set against a backdrop of picturesque locations like luxe Italian ski resorts, Lisbon, and Reykjavik, the movie channels major ‘I wish I was there’ vibes, especially when they botch their first mission. Ah, but fear not, there’s paperwork waiting in London. Exciting, right? And while you might think Rachel is just here for the post-mission admin, things are about to get spicy.

Enter the plot: A rogue’s gallery of ex-intel agents form “the Charter”. Their toy of choice? A tech marvel named the Heart. This isn’t your average cute gadget that orders pizza; it’s a technological behemoth that, if in the wrong hands, could cause a tad of a global issue. Think falling planes, misguided nukes – the usual Tuesday. Throw in an ensemble of characters with quirky codenames like ‘King of Clubs’ and ‘King of Diamonds’, and a tech-wiz (played by Alia Bhatt) looking to harness the Heart’s power, and suddenly Rachel Stone is centre stage. And trust, she’s rocking that spy-chic look, from marshmallow puffers that slim to dresses that scream tangerine dreams.

Heart of Stone is far from short on the razzle-dazzle – explosions, chases, all the Michael Bay-esque signatures. Directed by Tom Harper (of “Wild Rose” acclaim) and penned by Greg Rucka and Allison Schroeder, it’s got pedigree. But, if we’re keeping it 100, it feels a bit like a Frankenstein’s monster of various Mission: Impossible plots. But hey, no judgments if franchise dreams are dancing in Skydance Media’s heads.

While the narrative might be skimpier than a fast fashion bikini, the visuals are undeniably lush. As for Ms. Gadot, she breezes through with an easy-going flair, embodying the film’s spirit – easy on the eyes but not exactly haunting your thoughts post-credits. The time investment won’t feel like a drag, and at the very least, you’ll be amused by Gadot zooming around in that aforementioned flying-squirrel get-up.

If there’s a particular gem to be unearthed from this movie, it’s the rising Bollywood star, Alia Bhatt. She, who has dazzled in films from Mumbai’s bustling film industry, brings a dash of the unexpected to the plot. Her character, Keya, isn’t your run-of-the-mill tech genius. Keya is a symphony of ambition, intellect, and raw intrigue. Alia plays her with a finesse that feels like a refreshing glass of mango lassi on a sweltering day – sweet, fulfilling, and undeniably Indian.

The movie doesn’t shy away from embracing pop culture references. At one point, it felt like Rachel Stone’s character was channeling her inner Lara Croft, albeit with a wardrobe that’s more Zara than archaeologist chic. There’s a certain audacity to blend the world of high-stakes espionage with nods to the zeitgeist of the internet age. And who can forget that flying-squirrel suit? Surely, somewhere out there, a TikTok trend is already born with teens attempting their low-budget versions of that ensemble. Fingers crossed it doesn’t involve actual leaps off any high surfaces.

For those who might be newer to the Alia Bhatt fan club, imagine if Selena Gomez decided to step into a role in a high-profile Bollywood spy thriller. It’s that level of cross-cultural mashup. Alia’s presence is a testament to Netflix’s global reach and its knack for mixing flavors from different parts of the world to create a unique cinematic dish.

“Heart of Stone” is a bit like that song you hear on the radio – catchy in the moment but not exactly the track you’re searching for on Spotify afterward. Yet, it signifies something larger – the global melting pot of cinema. With the inclusion of talent like Alia Bhatt, it nods to a world where boundaries are blurring, and our entertainment palettes are richer for it.

Sure, the film might not be that groundbreaking masterpiece you’ll chat about passionately at dinner parties, but in a world of content overload, it’s a pleasant, visually striking pit stop. Think of it as a Starbucks latte – familiar, enjoyable, and topped with just enough froth (thanks to Gal’s flying adventures and Alia’s tech genius) to make you sip till the last drop. If nothing else, it’s a reminder that in this age of streaming, cinema is becoming a delightful, eclectic global potluck, and everyone’s invited to the feast. Cheers to more cinematic adventures where East meets West, and spy thrillers meet runway-ready fashion.

To sum it up, if you’re diving into “Heart of Stone” expecting a cinematic revolution, brace for a splash of cold water. But if it’s a chill, visually pleasing evening you’re after, this flick is the jam. Netflix continues to hit us with its buffet approach: some dishes you’ll savor, some you’ll forget by the time you reach the dessert counter. And this one? It’s the cinematic equivalent of comfort food – familiar, enjoyable, and without much aftertaste. Just keep the expectations in check and let the streaming ride take you where it will.

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