Director Francis Lawrence re-teams with “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire/Mockingjay” star Jennifer Lawrence for the stylish new spy-thriller, “Red Sparrow”. Based on the first-of-three novel series, this could be a solid franchise for Lawrence. What sets this film apart from most big-budget spy films, is that it is catered to a more mature audience, unlike last year’s absurdly annoying “Atomic Blonde”.
Dominika Egorova’s (Lawrence) life is forever changed when an accident ends her career as a ballerina. Having to take care of her sick mother (Joely Richardson) and pay for the apartment they live in, Dominika agrees to work for her uncle Vanya (Matthias Schoenaerts) as a Russian spy. Dominika is sent off to a secret school where she is trained in the art of seducing powerful men and using her body as a weapon. Once she finishes her education, she becomes a “Sparrow”.
Dominika’s first mission is to target C.I.A. agent Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton) in-order-to find out the identity of a Russian mole, that only Nash knows. From here on things get more complicated. Does Dominika want to target Nate, or does she want to work with him and help the C.I.A.? Although she loves her country, she is not a fan of the people who run it and what she must to do just to keep her mother alive.
“Red Sparrow” is not a fast-moving film with tons of action. It is dark and often brutal and there are some very graphic moments, like when a character is being skinned-alive, piece-by-piece. Lawrence give an incredibly strong performance, as her character is torn apart physically and emotionally. Hopefully, “Red Sparrow” does well enough at the box office so we can see the next two novels get adapted as well.
By: Marc Ferman