Red Sparrow (2018)

Red Sparrow
Director: Francis Lawrence
Writer: Justin Haythe
Based on: Jason Matthewsnovel
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, Ciarán Hinds, Joely Richardson, Bill Camp, Jeremy Irons, Sergei Polunin
Seen on: 28.3.2018

Dominika (Jennifer Lawrence) is a promising ballet dancer. Or rather, she used to be until an injury cost her her career. Instead she is recruited by her uncle Vanya (Matthias Schoenaerts) for the Sparrow School, a school designed to make spies. Training is hard, but Dominika makes it through. The target of her first mission is CIA agent Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton) who appears to have a Russian informant – and Dominika is supposed to find out who the informant is. But she and Nate gravitate towards each other – and that may threaten both of their missions.

I didn’t expect much of Red Sparrow, I have to say, but I filed it under “the things I do for Matthias Schoenaerts” and watched it anyway. I shouldn’t have – and neither should you.

Going into the film, I expected a lot of gore and violence, but it turned out that the film wasn’t quite as hard in that regard as I expected. Although there are torture scenes, they are thankfully rather short. Not that this makes the film all fluff and sunshine, but it does get easier to stomach. In any case, turns out that excessive violence really isn’t the film’s biggest problem.

Much more aggravating is the fact that the film believes itself to be supersmart when it really is not. In fact, it’s quite predictable despite its attempts to shock the audience with all kinds of plot twist that will probably only surprise people who have never seen a spy film before. Relying heavily on plot twists that just aren’t twisting makes the film quite boring.

Although that boredom may very well come from the fact that at some point, someone somewhere decided that looking sexy means having an emotionless death mask instead of facial expressions and whoever that person was, I want to kick them in the shins, point at this movie and scream “WHAT THE FUCK?” in their face.

Given that Schoenaerts gets about 10 minutes of screen time, there is no reason to actually sit through this film. Better spend your life time on something else. Something that’s enjoyable, preferably.

Summarizing: Leave it.

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