By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Olivia Norwood
In a world where Hollywood is already littered with spy movies, ‘Red Sparrow’ gives us a twist on the genre that we definitely did not ask for: A revolting combination of torture, rape, and a storyline that fails to grab an audience’s attention.
It’s important to keep in mind that, throughout this review, I will be basing my thoughts entirely around the movie adaptation of the Red Sparrow book by Jason Matthews rather than the book itself.
Jennifer Lawrence gets the unfortunate opportunity to play Dominika Egorova, a Russian girl who cares more about her mother’s safety than anything else. She is also a ballerina in a highly respectable company, but that is quickly taken away from her after she suffers an injury that destroys her career. That was just one of many plotlines that manages to drift off into oblivion.
She later witnesses something that she shouldn’t have which turns into the first (of many) rape scenes. This is where this movie falls apart in its entirety. In a dragged out amount of dialogue and confusing reasoning, Egorova is forced to enter a government-run Sparrow school where she comes to discover that sometimes pleasuring someone against your will is just a part of the job.
Modern cinema’s messages, folks!
After she leaves this school, you might expect there to be action (considering this is an action movie), but even that aims to disappoint. The most you’ll see in this movie is a few cars screeching, Lawrence being tortured with water, and a prolonged skin grafting scene.
And if you’re not attracted to the lack of action, then you can just pay attention to the destructive story that switches around so much there practically isn’t a story.
‘Red Sparrow’ was the first movie of the 2018 movie season that provided absolutely nothing to the culture of cinema this year (‘Fifty Shades Freed’ and ‘Winchester’, who also provided next to nothing to modern cinema, still added more than this movie did).
I would forgive it’s flaws if the director wasn’t seasoned, but that’s not the case. Francis Lawrence directed the entire ‘Hunger Games’ franchise and the classic ‘I Am Legend’. Maybe he hadn’t read the book, maybe this was just a flop in his bucket. Either way, this was not strong on anyone’s part.
‘Red Sparrow’ had the vague potential to be successful in the spy genre, such as ‘Atomic Blonde’, but lacks substance, an actual story, and focuses more on the erotica and torture aspects. The torture-porn genre might be more suited for this film.
My Rating: 50%