Jennifer Lawrence, a chameleon in many forms as to what role she will play and how well she will act in it. What is never questionable though, is that it will often involve some type of edge, with some anger thrown into the mix. And this weekend, yet another film for her to exercise her emotions is back in the form of Red Sparrow, the latest spy thriller to sneak into the theaters. The movie promises to be the same intense dynamics, perhaps with a little sexiness thrown in. Does the movie have the same fire that it’s lead actress has, or is it another flop? Robbie K happy to help you out with another movie decision with yet another review. Let’s get started:
Costumes: In a spy movie of such caliber, you are hoping that the costumes are going to be chic, sexy, and feel like the super spy role. Red Sparrow’s costumes are worthy of the mantle of high fashion, being pleasant on the eyes and fitting so well with the roles given to Ms. Lawrence. They add a nice flare to the movie, being utilized to sell her cover and infiltrate the secrets held within all parties, and in such a subtle way as that. It’s a small like, but one that warrants appreciation.
The Strong Woman Character: If it’s a Jennifer Lawrence role, it’s going to involve a strong female role and Red Sparrow is again no exception to the movement of strong female characters. Dominika has many layers, all built around a solid core value of family, bringing duty and loyalty to the heart of her character. They build upon these values, weaving a complex character who with each peel exposes layers that continue to evolve with each dive into the dark depths of espionage. And as more characters join the deadly game, Dominika gets to adapt in an attempt to juggle all the information being handed to her. And not only do her actions speak volumes, but Dominika has a few lines to throw out that are empowering to many in the theater. I enjoyed the strong, ever adapting character that hopefully can teach a few lessons amidst the destruction taking place.
True Spy Thriller: With James Bond films, we’ve been spoiled with the spy and action series blending together. Yet, the world of espionage is a lot less flashy given the emphasis of blending in and breaching the trusts of so many people. Red Sparrow flies into the territory of representing the espionage game, utilizing heavy writing, ingenuity, throwing out plenty of leads, and utilizing plenty of tactics to complicate the tale. The mysteries that are presented are the lure to keep you invested in the 2 hour 19 minute run time, all screaming of a true spy thriller that has been missing for some time, including an ending that is worthy of being called a respectable twist.
Slow: Sadly, the movie is very slow at parts, focusing more on the jargon, psychology, and training that is involved in this harsh environment. While this is interesting, it is also very hard to keep attention when the plot doesn’t move to keep the thrills going and make learning the information fun. Spy thrillers need to be thrilling, and I didn’t really get into the plot until the last thirty minutes of the film when the stakes increased dramatically. Drama fans won’t have quite as big of an issue with this, because the love, sex, and relationships fill these slow moments, but fans like me need to have some coffee before coming in.
Complicated Jargon: This goes with the slow speed, but Red Sparrow is not a conversation light movie. Where many movies have simplistic dialogue that leads you in a linear fashion. Red Sparrow however is like one of those word webs, with so much spreading out it can be confusing to piece things together without paying major attention. So many relationships to keep track of and so much information to maintain, you have to keep everything in check to figure out what the point of all this is. And given how the tone of the characters fluctuates, it can sometimes be difficult to hear what they are saying as the cavalcade talk in whispers and hushed tones.
Graphic Torture: Serial killers rejoice, you’ll see the dark dealings of punishment unfold in very disturbing moments, but for others with weaker constitutions you’ll need to turn away. There is plenty of Red in this movie, and not in the slasher movie cheesiness Hollywood has made famous. This movie has been majorly grounded in terms of thrills, but with it comes some realism that is more gruesome to see. I appreciate this darkness to some extent, but the there are some nightmare inducing images, and in some cases a little unnecessary to the story.
Despite all the mixed reviews, I think that Red Sparrow is a fine film that shows off Lawrence’s talents to be edgy and a strong women character. The film has plenty of mystery to solve as you try to uncover the true meaning behind this thriller, searching for any information possible. And given all this convoluted information, this movie certainly is the closest thing to an espionage film we’ve gotten in a long while. Yet, the movie is slow, and geared more toward romantic drama lovers who could care less about the story and more about the sabotage the characters throw at each other. Nevertheless, this dark story is not for the faint of focus and should be geared towards those who like a darker story with lots of kinks to unravel. My scores are:
Movie Overall: 6.0