Red Sparrow (2018)

This is basically Jennifer Lawrence's Atomic Blonde, is what I thought after seeing the trailer for Francis Lawrence's Red Sparrow. I also thought that it looked way less exciting than last year's spy movie which by the way I didn't love. As expected, Red Sparrow turned out to be a pretty awful movie.

Set in modern-day Russia, the film follows Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence), a famous prima ballerina whose career is destroyed by a rival and is forced by her uncle, Vanya Egorov (Matthias Schoenaerts), to serve the State and is sent to the State School Four, where she learns to use her body and sexuality as a weapon. Her first mission is to get close to CIA agent Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton) to find out the identity of his Russian informant.

Other than the fact that the main character, Dominika, goes to a whore school, literally, there's nothing new, refreshing about Red Sparrow's plot, starting from Dominika's rival putting her out of the game (not a cliché of the spy genre but still pretty common) to every single twist and turn. It's predictable, clichéd, ridiculous, implausible and boring. And it's all over the place. There's not a connection between some scenes and some parts are hard to put together.

The plot, unfortunately, isn't the only problem script-wise. The characters are flat, one-dimensional stereotypes, Dominika being the only exception. She has some depth, the transition from innocent ballerina to ruthless, manipulative whore, oops, I meant, spy, is well done, and I liked that she isn't another fighting machine, like Angelina Jolie in Salt or Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde.

The acting is a whole different story. While she conquered her fear to do nudity, Jennifer Lawrence's performance as Dominika is flat and her Russian accent isn't very strong, not to mention that it drops completely several times. Also, there's no chemistry between her and Joel Edgerton which makes it impossible for us to buy the romance.

20th Century Fox
There are a few highlights in the supporting cast though. The first is Matthias Schoenaerts who really tried to add some layers to his thin character, and managed to give a good performance. Then there's Charlotte Rampling. She plays the Matron of the whore school. Though the character is over-the-top and she doesn't get the screen time she deserves, Rampling does a good job. In spite of the good performances they both delivered, it bothered me a lot not having a single Russian actor playing the Russian characters.

Another of Red Sparrow's problems is the lack of tension and suspense. We know right from the start what's Dominika's ultimate goal is so the final twists aren't that unexpected. The stale atmosphere doesn't help either if anything it brings the movie even lower. There's also too much pointless nudity in this film and the violence isn't always justified.

I can't quite put my finger on it, but I feel like the film would have benefited from a different director because, after all, the story had potential.


  1. I haven't seen this yet either and with the reviews I probably won't. I'll wait for that Black Widow movie. lol

    1. You serious girl? I hope they never make that Black Widow movie. Or at least have the decency to use another actress. Johansson really hit the bottom with that performance in Infinity War in my opinion.

  2. I have no interest in seeing this. After all, I'll just wait for the Black Widow movie. Besides, that's going to have Scar-Jo 3:16 who always brings it. Plus, I hope they do something really different with Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch being Black Widow's right-hand woman.

    Besides, I love Scarlett. You're making me really sad.

    1. She looked so bored in Infinity War though.