Reviews

Heart of Stone

Verdict: Heart of Stone lacks originality and personality but Gal Gadot and Alia Bhatt make it a watchable outing

Gal Gadot plays an intelligence operative tasked with protecting a powerful predictive artificial intelligence known as the Heart.

Gal Gadot has showcased her action prowess in Wonder Woman, Fast and Furious and Red Notice – and she’s back at it again in Heart of Stone.

In Tom Harper’s Netflix action movie, she plays intelligence operative Rachel Stone, who truly works for a mysterious global peacekeeping agency called The Charter but is currently operating undercover in MI6.

Rachel must go on a treacherous mission to save the Heart, The Charter’s powerful predictive artificial intelligence technology, from falling into the wrong hands, particularly rogue hacker Keya’s (Alia Bhatt).

Heart of Stone, much like fellow Netflix action movies Red Notice and The Gray Man, feels like it is going through the motions. It hits all the familiar action/spy movie beats and Harper fails to inject it with any sense of originality, personality or pizzazz.

The concept is interesting and the inclusion of AI tech captures the zeitgeist but he doesn’t capitalise on this and instead makes an action movie we have seen so many times before, making it generic and disposable.

The saving grace is Gadot in the lead role. Although the dialogue is patchy and the characters are thinly-written stereotypes, her action-star pedigree helps carry the narrative and she sells all the stunt setpieces, which are decent despite the iffy CGI.

Another highlight is Bhatt, who instils her character with more nuance and humanity than anybody else. Keya isn’t a basic antagonist – she is more complicated than that and closer to a realistic person.

There are other key supporting stars who deserve a shout-out – Jing Lusi as Stone’s fun-loving MI6 colleague Yang, Sophie Okonedo as her tough boss Nomad, and Matthias Schweigh√∂fer as the Heart’s operator Jack.

The only weak link in the cast is Jamie Dornan as the MI6 agent Parker. The dodgy script and poor character development can take some blame here, but it’s not his finest performance.

Despite its flaws, Heart of Stone is a mildly entertaining spy thriller – it just needed to do more to stand out from the crowd.

Streaming on Netflix from Friday 11th August.

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