Mother’s Day (2023) Review – a gutsy action performance from Grochowska

By Marc Miller
Published: May 25, 2023 (Last updated: March 2, 2024)
2023 Netflix Polish film Mothers Day Review


Mother’s Day is worth watching for the spectacular action turn by Agnieszka Grochowska, who carries the film above its flaws for most of the picture.

Here is our review of the 2023 Netflix Polish film Mother’s Day, which does not contain spoilers.

The Netflix Polish language film Mother’s Day (Dzien Matki) heavily borrows from films like the Taken franchise. However, the quick running time, a terrific action turn, and sheer bravado will pull most through the movie. However, the protagonist and antagonist feel like they belong to different film genres.

Mother’s Day (2023) Review and Plot Summary

The story unfolds around Nina (Agnieszka Grochowska), a former NATO special operations agent, who is alive and well despite standing over the grave that says she died in 2005 in defense of her country.

Nina is depressed, ordering six beers on Mother’s Day, and the next night watching her now teenage son Maks celebrate his birthday from a distance in her car, always watching over him.

Nina gave up Maks for adoption years ago but still watches him celebrate his day annually from afar. She receives a call indicating that a ruthless gang specializing in drugs, racketeering, and human trafficking holds Maks hostage.

Failure to comply with their demands will result in his death, compelling Nina to employ all her skills in a daring mission to retrieve him.

Directed by Mateusz Rakowicz (The Getaway King), which he co-wrote along with his writing partner Lukasz M. Maciejewski, it’s an entertaining action picture that has an uneven style and tends to be overwrought with a comic relief that often falls flat.

The script is essentially an action-comic strip that tries too hard to fold in levity to mellow out the excessive, stylized action.

However, the action scenes, particularly the pacing and sly camera work, have an addictive energy. Too many films show a hero fighting ten people, only for the bad guys to wait to attack and have the overall feel of being choreographed.

Here, Rakowicz has Grochowska give a beating but take one as well, giving the story at least some realism.

For instance, Mother’s Day’s best action scenes bring new meaning to a woman’s place in the kitchen. The sequence has the deadly ex-agent use any kitchen utensil and even produce to kill or maim a half-dozen bad guys.

Grochowska brings a real grit and John McClane’s “yippee-ki-yay” quality to the role, which is refreshing. She is an antidote to portraying modern female secret agents or superheroines.

Conversely, Szymon Wróblewski’s completely over-the-top, cartoonish villain Wolto is another example of the script’s uneven tone.

However, I must admit that watching Wróblewski’s weapon of choice, double-fisting a pair of tasers instead of a gun or some sharp knives was ludicrous enough to make it enjoyable.

Is the film Mother’s Day (2023) Good or Bad?

Mother’s Day is an above-average action picture. Rakowicz does employ a clever plot twist. Then, an intentionally ambiguous ending leaves much to be desired, setting up the possibility of a sequel.

Yes, the tone and characters are uneven, but the overall film experience is like a quick shot of adrenaline that left me wanting more.

Is the film Mother’s Day (2023) Worth Watching?

Mother’s Day is worth watching for the spectacular action-turn by Agnieszka Grochowska. Her performance is so gutsy that she carries the film above its flaws for most of the picture.

What did you think of Mother’s Day (2023)? Comment below.

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