Mother’s Day (2023) Movie Review – Another forgettable, blasé action thriller

Another forgettable, blasé action thriller

Another week rolls round, another kickass action flick shows up on the big screen. This time around it’s Netflix’s turn to punch, kick and flip viewers, with a simple plot, stylishly shot action sequences and a shockingly barebones character journey. There’s absolutely nothing here that hasn’t been done before – and better – in other films, but compared to some tepid efforts like Gunpowder Milkshake and J’Lo’s The Mother, Mother’s Day actually has some pretty decent moments. It’s just too bad that it comes wrapped up in a film that’s as forgettable as it is cliched.

The story centers on Nina, an ex-Special Ops agent who’s now retired from the game. She’s faked her own death to hide from mob bosses (despite showing up in public areas all the time and starting fights) and she’s living in regret for what could have been. Her birth son, Max, has been adopted and doesn’t know his own mum, given she gave him up to keep him safe.

When ruthless gangsters kidnap Max, Nina is forced back into action again, hell-bent on finding her son and saving his life before it’s too late.

From here, the story follows a very simple “damsel in distress” archetype, with Max filling in that role, while Nina fights through waves of goons in different areas, all in a bid to get her son back.

It’s all very simple but surprisingly stylish, especially with some of the camera work in the action sequences. This certainly isn’t for the squeamish though, as Mother’s Day prides itself in showcasing numerous shots of knives piercing skulls, carrots through ears, flaming bodies and everything in between, all whilst pulsating techno and fast-paced guitar strums blast through the speakers. It actually works quite well, with a style that flits between Bourne and John Wick, alongside a Polish pressure cooker of different influences.

Unfortunately, these action scenes are all Mother’s Day has going for it. The story is unbelievably barebones and there’s very little in terms of depth to any of the characters to really get invested in what’s happening. The acting doesn’t help matters either and in fact, the only person here who chews up the scenery and seems to be having a good time is Volto, a two-bit criminal who’s just another rung on the ladder.

Everyone else though looks like they’ve just been kicked out a 5 day seminar about the most boring topic imaginable and thrown onto set and asked to perform. There’s just very little enthusiasm for what’s happening and unfortunately, that’s likely to be echoed by audiences too.

Don’t get me wrong, as a one-time watch this isn’t too bad to kick back and enjoy. This is the sort of movie Netflix is banking on audiences watching with their phones in hand, scrolling social media and glancing up every now and then to check out the action. Unfortunately, that also means that the film has very little to offer audiences looking for something a cut above the below-average fare we’re given here.

Mother’s Day isn’t an outright bad film, and in fact there are some action sequences that work pretty well. Unfortunately there’s absolutely nothing here to propel this film above the annals of forgettable mediocrity, making for a rather indifferent watch overall.


Read More: Mother’s Day Ending Explained

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  • Verdict - 4/10

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