Red Sparrow

red_sparrow_xlgDirected by Francis Lawrence who is best known for several of The Hunger Games films starring Jennifer Lawrence, Red Sparrow is a highly eroticized spy thriller aiming to become a prestige espionage film like 2011’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and whose greatest asset is the acting performance from Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence. Lawrence stars as a Russian ballerina named Dominika Egorova who suffers a career-ending injury and enlists, at the urging of her powerful uncle Ivan, played by Matthias Schoenaerts, as a Russian operative known as a red sparrow in order to support her sick mother. After her recruitment, the film uses a training montage to depict the brutal tactics, including using one’s sexuality to obtain valuable information from targets, she learns at a secret training facility run by the stone-faced character played by Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling. Eventually, Dominika is sent to Budapest to uncover the identity of a Russian double agent working for the CIA and also to get close to the CIA agent Nate Nash, played by Joel Edgerton. Things begin to get complicated after she begins an intimate relationship with Nate and discovers that there may be other double agents at work for both the Russians and Americans. Overall, I found it to be a somewhat entertaining and stylized film, but it, unfortunately, fell short of my high expectations for a well-crafted intelligent espionage thriller suited for such a talented cast.

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