Movie Review: Red Sparrow

By: William Adeboyejo

At first glance, the film Red Sparrow would seem like just your everyday, run-of-the-mill spy story.
The basic plot is about a Russian ballerina who only cares about her sick mother, gets hurt, and then is recruited to a “Sparrow” school where students are trained to use their body to get information from targets.
Before I sat down to watch this film, I checked out the run time and it is listed at two hours and 21 minutes. Red Sparrow starts off slow, the pace in the beginning was lulling me to sleep. Jennifer Lawrence’s performance was a stand out to me, as I really felt like she was into this role and took the time to prep for it. However, her Russian accent was executed very poorly and seemed really inconsistent over the film.
I thought the other actors did a good job, but the story didn’t really make me care for anybody. The motives of the characters felt fake and not genuine. SPOILERS/TRIGGER WARNING: For example, one scene has Lawrences’ character showering when a classmate walks in and tries to rape her.
Lawrences’ character has a meeting with the instructor of the spy school and the guy who runs the program. No punishment is given to Lawrences’ character, but in the next scene she is instructed by her teacher to have sex with her classmate who tried to rape her. She gets naked and sits on a desk waiting for him, but he doesn’t go along with it.
During this scene I was left wondering: Was this an important part in her character development? Did this add something to the movie that would make you understand how spies have to make hard choices?
While watching, I also had a hard time trying to understand what Lawrence’s character was feeling, so I had a hard time staying engulfed in the experience of the film. The two main actors, Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton, don’t seem to be competing against each other. It is mostly their governments, and I could only assume that they love their country so much that they will do anything for it, as they didn’t really convey it. Also, Edgerton’s character doesn’t really have any other goals besides to protect his information.
I’m going to rate films out of five, and I would give this one a two out of five. The two lead actors didn’t have that much chemistry on camera, the film tried to sell itself in the spy genre, and my thoughts of spy genres are completely different from what this film showed.
Overall, I’d say the best aspects of this film would be the locations they shot at, and the opening scene when Lawrence is a ballerina.

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