I spy with my little eye a pretty sh*tty spy. No offence to anyone in this movie but Red Sparrow fails to deliver the thrill, the excitement and the intrigue a true spy movie should have.
Dominika (Jennifer Lawrence) is a ballerina, who after an injury is forced to do something questionable by her uncle Vanya (Matthias Schoenaerts). She agrees because her mother is sick, and she needs money, which therefore sets her on track to become a sparrow. The problem? Well, the sparrows are apparently spy-hookers, and Dominika is not someone who opens her legs to strangers. Yet, she manages to complete the program and go out to do spy-work as a sparrow to find out who is the mole in the Russian government.
Red Sparrow sounds promising on paper. The movie itself is bad. First of all, the whole plot takes place in Russia and most of the characters are Russian. BUT they all speak accented English! EVERYONE! The only one to speak a little Russian is the only non-Russian character, Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton). This bothered me in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo as well! And my only question is, WHY would you do this!? If you are going to spend the entire plot in a foreign country, surely you are going to at least make the main character order a drink in her native language? No? Alright. You do you.
“There is nothing emotionally captivating about this movie.”
Another issue the movie has is the fact that it drags. It is 2 hours and 30 minutes long, but most of the interesting stuff happens in the third act. By then we have no idea who’s side Dominika is, but we are pretty sure she’s a crappy sparrow. Why? Well, there are things that happen in the movie that shouldn’t happen. Yes, she manages to turn it around to benefit her goal – to keep her mother safe, but it feels very anticlimactic. By the end I was actually so bored that when the credits rolled, I almost cheered.
The biggest problem this movie faces is its lack of urgency. We get to hear Dominika plead for more time and yet, we don’t sense her predicament. Not to mention the lack of remorse for the main character. Lawrence portrays Dominika as cold and distant, which should work for a spy but keeps the viewer uninterested. Even her chemistry with Edgerton lacks any sparks and feels forced by both actors. There is nothing emotionally captivating about this movie.
Bottom line is, Red Sparrow is a sexualised spy movie to showcase Jennifer Lawrence. It’s her show, it’s her time to shine, but she sizzles out by the movie’s 20 minute mark.