Jennifer Lawrence has obviously made a name for herself in Hollywood. Her break out role was in The Hunger Games franchise as Katniss Everdeen. This proved that Lawrence was a force to be reckoned with, and was able to hold the weight of a film on her acting chops. She landed more leading roles, which eventually lead to the actress being nominated for numerous academy awards and winning some as well. Now, 20th century Fox, TSG Entertainment, and director Francis Lawrence present Jennifer Lawrence's newest film with the movie Red Sparrow. Is this espionage thriller another hit for Lawrence? I don't believe so.
Dominika Egorovoa (Jennifer Lawrence) is a celebrated Russian ballerina and prominent star with the Bolshoi. Sadly her career is cut short when she suffers a horrible injury durance a performance. Facing an uncertain future and determined to provide care for her sick mother, Dominika is persuaded by her shay uncle Ivan Dimitrevich Egorov (Matthias Schoenaerts) who is the First Deputy Director of the SVR, into performing a dubious task. Said task lead to a murder with Dominika being the only witness. Realizing that she has relatively no choices left, Dominika is then forced by her uncle into attending Sparrow School. There is where Dominika is trained in the art of seduction (using their minds and bodies as weapons to extract information from individuals). When it is shown that Dominika has a talent for such work, the Russian government recruits her to carry out a top secret mission involving seducing a CIA agent named Nathaniel Nash (Joel Edgerton) into naming a CIA informant that is part of the Russian secret service. As she learns more, she finds out that everyone has secrets and she must stay one step ahead of everyone in order to survive.
I like Jennifer Lawrence. I get excited for her films, and ever since one of my acting professors claimed that she is a prime example of someone who completely follows her impulses, I have admired her. When I saw the trailer for this film every time I went to the movies I was not compelled to see this for any other reason as I wanted to see a JLaw movie. What did I think of it after seeing the film? I was very disappointed. Despite the talent within the film, Red Sparrow is pretty much a lack luster tired spy-thriller. The film was bland, shallow and cold.
The movie does have a few positives that make the film shine on-screen. The color palette is good, ambiguous and instills a dreary sense through out the scenes, but there are some moments of brightness, especially during the ballet.
The cinematography is also something to be admired with its interesting camera angles and lighting work. Aside from the faults that I will delve into next, the film is over all cinematically shiny.
There are many flaws with the movie, one of the biggest being a lack of substance and depth within its narrative. The novel it was adapted from seems to br a gripping story as a source of material for the film, but the narrative is executed in a...for a lack of better words...boring way. The story is there, and there is plenty for the actors to work with, but it seemed as though Lawrence barely scratched the surface of the author's source material. This causes the film to be rather unappealing, leaving a lot fo pacing issues and not fully exploring certain plot and character points. An example would be the "Sparrow" school. It is such an interesting concept, but the film only skims past it. There were interesting characters in the school scenes, but they weren't explored at all, and I would've liked to see Dominika's journey from ballerina to seductress in more depth. Coinciding with that, the rest of the film isn't at all enthralling as it tries to be. The slow pace of the film and the predictable movements doesn't help the film as well as the very bland script. Nothing feels fresh or new or creative, but rather recycled and weak. All 2 hours or so you can feel the plot twists coming and can clearly guess who Dominika is going to attempt revenge on.
Another problem is that the film is long, and I mean wayyy too long. The run time is two hours and twenty minutes long, but it feels even longer. The cast is a talented group of actors and actresses, but are underserved by the lack of substance and depth within their respective characters. Most of the camera time is spent on Jennifer Lawrence who plays the lead role, but as I previously stated there wasn't enough on screen presence to make Dominika likeable and show her conflicted struggle between wanting to take care of her mother, but also wanting control over her own life. The next primary character in the film is Joel Edgerton who plays the CIA operative. While he works well adjacent to Lawrence, the chemistry isn't quite there, but that could also be because his character isn't particularly well-rounded or developed enough beyond the generic "American CIA-operative". The rest of the cast (with a few big names like Jeremy Irons) do well in their roles, but again are not developed enough for the audience to truly connect to.
Our heroine enters the dangerous world of deception, espionage, and seducation in the film Red Sparrow, directed by Francis Lawrence. The film brings to life the novel by Jason Matthew, with Jennifer Lawrence at the helm. Unfortunately, whie the source material may be intriguing, the film itself is boring, lacks depth in its character and story, is shallow in narrative, and very very long. I was personally disappointed with the movie. As I said earlier, I love Jennifer Lawrence's work, and I had high hope for this movie merely because she was in it, but the film resulted in just a bland feeling. I would say to anyone who asks that they should definitely skip this one. It's just not worth it.