From battling moody teens to the death in The Hunger Games to fighting alongside mutants in X-men - Jennifer Lawrence has grossed over $5.5 billion at the box-office - whilst picking up an oscar win with three noms on the way. The Kentucky actress has hit hard times, still reeling from the box-office space flop Passengers and the critically confused Mother, Lawrence is in dire need of some critical and commercial TLC. With Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence at the wheel Can Red Sparrow be the one? Russian Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited into the 'Sparrow School' - a shady intelligence service section which uses its agents to manipulate targets through both body and mind.
Both Lawrences reunite reasonably well, delivering the physiologically and sexually exploiting espionage that we had thought we were going to get. With far more sex and far less action than James Bond or Mission:Impossible, Red Sparrow is an intense spy thrill that has just enough redeeming qualities to make it worth it. I would be neither offended nor relieved if this happens to be the beginning to a further Red Sparrow franchise, it's a visually splendid popcorn flick with double the brain and double the brawn than last year's Atomic Blonde.
Dominika appears to be one of the more notable of Jennifer Lawrence's recent performances, not that this Oscar winning actress ever takes on a dull role. This acting gig is reported to have been Lawrence's most challenging movie to date and it's safe to say it was most definitely worth it. Not only is it a treat but it's an honour to see this highly gifted actress branch out into more difficult roles, challenging the audience more but taking them with her. Dominika is complex, compelling and most importantly persuasive character. The film follows her and her journey into the seductive, terrifying and lethal world of espionage.
Red Sparrow doesn't pull any punches exploring the dirty business of the covert Intelligence world. Dominika is "recruited" to the in sparrow school, where she is taught to use her body as tool for physiological and sexual manipulation. Unsurprisingly the tense sexual moments in the film are as frequent as they are uncomfortable, threaded into the story rather than splashed as quick cheap thrills. There are still a small handful of violent moments in this spy flick, Red Sparrow is as brutal as it is tense.
This prima ballerina espionage picture may have one or two dull moments, but is balanced out by either director Lawrence or actress Lawrence's formidable talents. It successfully delivers a story entirely focused on the complexity and unpredictability of its lead, rather than a complex multi character plot. A cerebral spy flick with little to no action is hard to come by in this day and age and Red Sparrow is unquestionably a mixed bag, but if you care enough for Jennifer Lawrence's compelling performance you'll probably stay enthralled for the hefty one hundred and forty minute run time.
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.