Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Ciaran Hinds, Jeremy Irons, Joely Richardson
Director: Francis Lawrence
Release date: 1st March 2018
Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) is an extremely talented ballerina at the Bolshoi Ballet. One night while performing a complicated routine, she manages to break one of her legs. The injury is devastating, not only for her personally but also for her mother who is very sick. Three months later, she is slowly recovering but it doesn’t look as though she will ever dance again. Her uncle, Vanya Egorov (Matthias Schoenaerts) comes to see her and tells her that the events that led to her injury were not as straight forward as she thought. The shocking news leads Dominika to take some extremely drastic measures. After her actions, she is then propositioned by Vanya (a high ranking Russian operative) to lure a very powerful guy called Dmitri Ustinov up to his hotel room. She does as asked but things go much further than she was led to believe they would. A masked person bursts in and Dmitri is murdered. Dominika is bundled away, shocked by what she’s just experienced. Uncle Vanya then tells her that her only option now is to become a ‘Sparrow’, a highly skilled operative that works for the State. She is given a new identity and put through a horrific training programme. Dominika is now ‘owned by The State’ and must seduce an American CIA operative, Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton) to find out what he knows about Russian Intelligence and a Mole. She must use every skill and ounce of her training to stay alive, but unfortunately there are dark forces at work…
‘Red Sparrow’ is based on the novel by Jason Matthews, and it’s based on the first in a trilogy of books. It was first published in June of 2013 and he is a hugely respected author. He is an ex-CIA Operations Director, who retired after thirty three years of service.
Coming in at 2hrs and 19mins, ‘Red Sparrow’ is a long old movie, perhaps unnecessarily long in parts. At some points, it felt like the story would never end… taken in a new direction or plot twist. Now, I like Jennifer Lawrence as an actress (did feel she was a bit wooden in the second ‘Hunger Games’ movie) and she’s an extremely capable one but I just didn’t believe in her character in this movie. Can’t quite put my finger on it, it’s just a gut feeling.
It’s a really great and entertaining story but I felt that in places it is overtly graphic and violent… rape, murder and torture. It has a 16 certificate in Ireland but I’m actually surprised that it didn’t get an 18 cert instead. Maybe that tells us a bit more about what’s acceptable to the viewing public these days.
Definitely not a ‘date night’ or ‘first date’ movie, ‘Red Sparrow’ takes you on one woman’s incredible journey, fighting for her life on a daily basis. Not entirely sure as to whether there’s a demographic for the type of person that will watch this movie. It’s definitely one to say that you’ve seen.
If you have a relatively strong stomach and don’t mind gratuitous violence in a movie then go see ‘Red Sparrow’. For all the guys out there, Jennifer Lawrence is pretty much naked for half of the film so that’s probably another incentive.
Go see ‘Red Sparrow’. I do think it’s a movie that people will be talking about for a long time to come.