Home Arts & Entertainment Even Hearts of Stone Beat Once In a While: A Review of...

Even Hearts of Stone Beat Once In a While: A Review of Netflix’s ‘Heart of Stone’

Image courtesy of Netflix
A column straight from the unorthodox mind of Jamie Miller. Often written during the middle of the night, Miller provides reviews of TV shows and movies, books, and details life through from his perspective (artwork by Abby Haywood/The Collegiate). Abby Haywood

In a world where AI is becoming more and more prominent, Netflix just dropped a new movie featuring the concept with mixed results.

“Heart of Stone,” which premiered on Netflix on Aug. 11, tells the tale of Rachel Stone, seemingly nothing more than a tech specialist for MI6 helping protect Great Britain from those who would seek to do her harm. Except none of that is true. While Stone is among the ranks of MI6, she is actually a member of the Charter, a secret organization of spies and hackers that transcends borders and races.

Guided by an AI known simply as The Heart, the Charter is dedicated to protecting world peace by any means necessary, whether it be assassinations, hacking, drone strikes or whatever other dirty deeds need to be done. Unknown to most and thought to be an urban legend by others, many think the Charter is nothing more than a scary story told by black ops agents and terrorists around a pint of beer. However, it’s very real, and Stone is among them. After a mission went horribly wrong, Stone finds herself disgraced, betrayed and forsaken. In order to even the score and protect the organization and cause she has dedicated her life to, she must go rogue, and fight on her own without the knowledge of Heart or the might of the Charter behind her. This will be the hardest and most important fight of her life.

The film stars Wonder Woman herself Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone. Jamie Dornan of “Fifty Shades of Grey” fame also stars as MI6 agent Parker, a member of Stone’s MI6 team. Sophie Okonedo of “Hotel Rwanda” and “Aeon Flux”  stars as Nomad, one of the four kings aka leaders of the Charter. Alia Bhatt, known for roles in movies like “RRR,” stars as Keya Dhawan, a skilled but misguided hacker seeking to bring down the Charter.

Also along for the ride is BD Wong of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” as King of Clubs, one of the leaders of the Charter. Glenn Close, known for having roles in such works as “Fatal Attraction,” “101 Dalmatians” and “Air Force One” plays the part of King of Diamonds, another of the Charter’s leaders. Matthias Schweighofer, known for recent roles in “Oppenheimer” and “Army of the Dead,” plays the role of Jack of Hearts, the main tech expert in the Charter. Mark Ivanir, known for voice work in video games such as “Metro Exodus” and the “Call of Duty” franchise as well as a recurring role in the TV show “Homeland,” appears as King of Spades, another leader of the Charter. 

Now, what is there to say about this movie? It wasn’t bad, between hacked elevators violently crashing in a massive explosion and a huge bomb spotted one second too late, the death scenes are great and the choreography is on point. The set pieces are interesting. The premise of an AI assisting a secret society of spies is fascinating, and yet I struggle to remember much of it. It wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, it is a competent action movie. But that’s it, it is just competent. It never really capitalizes on its fascinating premise, The Heart is mentioned and said to be incredibly important but that is never really shown. Sure, it helps people hack stuff, but characters were shown to be able to effectively hack without it. It is supposed to be this unbelievably advanced AI, yet it never so much as says a single word or displays any kind of awareness. It’s literally a mute Siri with half the charm. And the secret villain, who I am not going to reveal here as it was one of the only good twists in the entire movie, has a good point and could have been compelling. Yet, he is reduced to nothing more than a cartoonish psychopath who wants to watch the world burn. No conflict to his personality or regret of his actions. He becomes a less compelling version of Heath Ledger’s Joker without the face paint. While a pure evil villain can be compelling in this case, it just doesn’t work. The movie is like a jigsaw puzzle. It has all these good compelling pieces but just can’t put them together. I give it an even four torches out of10. If you’re looking for a simple popcorn action movie then you should be satisfied. But if you want any more, you will likely find it as stale as that old popcorn after you leave it out too long.

Previous articleGRCC Police assist with mental health crisis, investigate trespassing and property damage
Next articleGRCC invites students to share gender identity information