“Red Sparrow,” the next collaboration of Jennifer Lawrence and director Francis Lawrence, is one I’d like to call: “Fifty Shades” during the Cold War. Meaning: there are Russian operatives who must seduce their victims, and all and all, I was not aroused.
Lawrence stars as Dominika Egorova, a Russian ballerina, whose dance partner injures her leg during a show. Not only are her dreams shattered, but her mother (Joely Richardson) is ill, she can barely afford her apartment rent, and her uncle (Matthias Schoenaerts) suckers her into working with his Russian Intelligence agency. And this agency has a program that requires torture and seduction, but mostly seduction.
Joel Edgerton plays a CIA agent who meets Dominikia in Budapest, while struggling to track down a mole. They both get it on, and know what agencies they work for. She ends up working with the Americans.
Lawrence does what she can in “Red Sparrow,” but she has been in better non-franchise movies like “American Hustle” or “Silver Linings Playbook.” I liked Joel Edgerton and James Newton Howard’s score, but the movie was just pointless and, at times, violent.
I don’t need to watch Lawrence get beaten up by Russian agents or a training student being forced to give a man a blow job. I didn’t come for the violence or sex; I’ve came for the action and stars.
Based on the novel by ex-CIA operative Jason Matthews, the movie has no likable characters, very few special times, and very little motivation. Not even Jeremy Irons (as a Russian general) or Mary Louise Parker (as a US Senator’s Chief of Staff) could help round the cast up.
My point is: it has some decent elements, but I’ve seen better.