People have been saying that Red Sparrow looks like the Black Widow movie Marvel should’ve put up by. When they eventually make that happen, it’s most definitely gonna be nowhere near what this turned out to be, because nobody wants to see a gritty and confusing plot that will leave you bored around the middle mark.
What’s the Story?: Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) is this famous ballerina in Russia but soon ends after a terrible injury ends her career. To help her sick mother (Joely Richardson) out at home, her Uncle Ivan (Matthias Schoenaerts) recruited to the Sparrow school, which is a secret intelligence service that trains young people to use their minds and bodies through seduction and deception that could be helpful to attract CIA agent Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton) if she can be trusted.
Francis Lawrence reunites with her Hunger Games star on the last three films in the franchise to give us a spy thriller based on former CIA operative Jason Matthews’ 2013 novel of the same name that I’m pretty sure no one was interested in. Certainly, none of the trailers weren’t convincing me that this won’t be exciting and it looked like it was gonna be a slow thriller that’s trying to be the next Atomic Blonde or something. First of all, this is nothing like it; second, it’s efforts to make Red Sparrow entertaining are just very, very dull and played out.
Lawrence’s performance was fine enough as she goes all out into playing Dominika. Her Russian accent is a little shaky at first hearing, but it levels out later on. And she actually studied ballet to prepare for her dancing scene at the beginning of the film. It feels like she hasn’t been in a good movie in a while. Edgerton also gives a good performance, as well.
The cinematography, while excellent, provided no real visual style for the rest of the film. Maybe it’s because Russia always looks so damp and never colorful in the slightest whenever a film takes place there.
The film lacks action, and it does happen, it’s unsatisfying. It even also lacks a lot of wasted talents like Jeremy Irons, Ciaran Hinds or Mary-Louise Parker with little screen time they had.
It certainly earns its R-rating. There were so many uncomfortable scenes where it involves brutal violence or sexual content honestly took me out of the movie when it’s obviously necessary and sometimes doesn’t drive the story anywhere. Once these kinds of moments happen, the idea of someone actually enjoying these scenes is kind of crazy, to say the least. Many of which involved at the Sparrow school to which Matron (Charlotte Rampling), the Head Mistress, instruct them to do a certain act.
With the unnecessary runtime of 140 minutes, so many scenes didn’t feel integral to the story. With that amount of time, I could watch about three episodes of The Americans (a show that I should watch). Justin Haythe (A Cure for Wellness)’s script doesn’t lead to a convincing story as so confusing to actually pay attention to the decisions that Dominika makes throughout to make us not sure which side she’s on. to like I didn’t feel like there was any chemistry between Edgerton and Lawrence, or her decision to quit being a ballerina and then manipulated by her uncle to become a “Sparrow”.
Lawrence tries its best to directing an intriguing movie with the normal twist and turns to come about, especially when it’s coming out at the most appropriate time right now. It doesn’t make Red Sparrow any less disturbing when it takes itself so seriously and lifeless for an espionage film that isn’t made for anyone.
Red Sparrow wanted to be a captivating spy thriller, but it honestly ends up becoming boring even comfortable with an unconvincing story.