Heart of Stone is the latest in a long line of Netflix action films, following this year’s The Mother and Extraction 2. It also features Gal Gadot’s return to Netflix, having previously starred in Red Notice with Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds. Unfortunately, despite an intriguing premise and talented cast, Heart of Stone is another forgettable Netflix film that wastes its chance of being the next Mission: Impossible by clinging to familiar tropes.
Without giving too much away, Heart of Stone opens up on an MI6 mission by a team of four already in progress, led by Parker (Jamie Dornan). Gal Gadot plays Rachel Stone, whose role on the mission is tech support (she isn’t a field agent). Naturally, the mission goes awry and Stone has to make a decision: allow the mission to fail or reveal her secret to her team. She eventually decides on the latter and sets the events that follow into motion; this involves the film’s MacGuffin, known as “The Heart”, and The Charter, a secret global peacekeeping organization that operates under a playing card theme.
My biggest critique of the film is the lack of originality. While the concept of the Charter is interesting (I was a fan of the playing card theme), the plot was so formulaic; I figured out some of the “big twists” before they even happened. The problem with many action films lately is they are trying to be the next Mission: Impossible or The Bourne Identity, but all they do is copy what made those films great. It also shouldn’t have been over 2 hours long; the writing/pacing made the film drag, which you don’t want in an action film.
Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone isn’t bad performance-wise, but the character is just bland and uninteresting. It isn’t believable that she’s just a tech agent for MI6, so the big reveal with her character isn’t surprising. Gadot doesn’t give a bad performance in the film, but the character is bogged down by the writing. Gadot does a good job with the action sequences in the film; they’re well-choreographed, which is one of the few highlights.
Jamie Dornan is a great actor (Belfast is a terrific example), but Parker is so wooden at times that you can’t connect with him. Also, I saw the “twist” with Parker coming from a mile away. It was either going to be Dornan’s character or Sophie Okonedo as Nomad, one of the directors of the Charter. She gives a good performance, but it isn’t enough to save the film. There are a few cameos as well, but they don’t have enough screen time to make a difference.
Overall, I would say that Heart of Stone is a Netflix film you can have on in the background if you have to have something on. If you’re a big fan of the actors in the film, you might get some enjoyment out of it. In my opinion, there are better films with Gal Gadot and Jamie Dornan out there to watch; they do their best with what they’re given, but it isn’t enough to save this film. I definitely won’t be watching this one again, so I’d suggest finding something else on Netflix to watch.