Jennifer Lawrence’s new film ‘Red Sparrow’ isn’t the spy thriller it wants to be, unfortunately. Read our review of her new movie here.
Red Sparrow is, above all else, a movie with potential. The 2018 Jennifer Lawrence vehicle has all the makings of a spy thriller, but never quite follows through with making that movie. Instead, we’re given a middling plot rife with forced sexual tension, wavering accents, and a moral compass that goes back and forth from minute to minute. And with a two hour and 20 minute runtime, it’s a lot to sit through.
The movie follows the life of our long-suffering heroine, Dominika Egorova (Lawrence) a prima ballerina turned Russian government operative after a tragic accident ends her dance career. Once lauded as the most talented dancer in Moscow, she’s forced to attend a terrifying training school at the behest of her evil uncle Vanya (Matthias Schoenaerts), a high-ranking member of the government. If she does not go through training to become a “sparrow,” her sick mother will lose all health care and her apartment. What choice does Dominkia have?
The recruits at the sparrow training academy, or as Dominika calls it, “whore school,” are tested to their physical and mental limits to become the ultimate agents of seduction and manipulation. They’ll be used to gain the trust of Russia’s enemies, usually by having sex with them, and take them down. Cue a lot of gratuitous nudity for the rest of the film. This is where the film starts to fall apart. We’re constantly told how beautiful Dominika is, as if the film doesn’t trust that we’re watching Jennifer Lawrence on screen.
It’s also drilled into our heads that Dominika is the brightest and best of the agents, though it’s hard to see why. She’s…okay? At best? Her ultimate move of espionage is dying her brown hair blonde. It’s the equivalent of Clark Kent glasses. At some point, she meets with a handsome CIA agent named Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton) and they apparently fall in love.
Lawrence and Edgerton give wonderful performances on their own, but they’re just not given much to work with. There’s no passion, believability, or romance in their interactions. As with the rest of the movie, we’re told what’s happening, not shown. Lawrence’s depiction of Dominika is calm and cool, sometimes to a fault when the action finally picks up. The film is enjoyable, nonetheless. Weirdly-placed awkward sex scenes, accents that drift in and out, a woman who insists on having bangs? Actually, this could be a great guilty pleasure to replace the Fifty Shades movies.
Red Sparrow hits theaters on March 2.
HollywoodLifers, are you going to see Red Sparrow? Let us know!