Red Sparrow is a tour de force for Jennifer Lawrence.
Red Sparrow is set in a Russia which hasn’t acknowledged that the Cold War has ended. All the familiar tropes are hard at work. There are assassins (Yes- pre-Salisbury), and spy schools. These schools teach ‘honey’ trap sexual blackmail opportunities. Dominika Egorova (Lawrence) has had her career as a ballerina curtailed because of a planned accident. She’s then recruited into the Russian secret Service by her sinister uncle Vanya (Matthias Schoenaerts) who’s deputy head of the service. He’s also a Putin look-a-like.
Through the gruelling training that Dominika has had as a ballerina she can easily accept the rigours of spy training. She’s also mentally strong. The film then has a series of set-piece Cold War incidents involving a CIA which is implausibly trustworthy. There is ambiguity, thrills, Cold War excitement, treachery, and an end which implies a sequel, which I look forward to.
Why you should watch this film: Jennifer Lawrence shows incredible depth in an uncompromising performance.
Why you shouldn’t watch this film: There is sadism and the USA is, implausibly, less bad than Russia.
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