Red Sparrow (2018) reviewed by Jonathan Berk

Jennifer Lawrence was early placed on the Best Actress list with her performance in Winter’s Bone (2010) and her actual win for Silver Linings Playbook (2012). Red Sparrow (2018) sees J-Law work with director Francis Lawrence again after working together on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2. Red Sparrow has some good moments, but is far too long and is definitely missing something.

Red Sparrow is a slow burn spy movie that drags at times, but pays-off in the end.

Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) was a dancer until an accident took her livelihood away. Her Uncle, Vanya Egorov (Matthias Schoenaerts), puts her in a position where she must join the Sparrow program, which is an elite group of spies that use seduction as a weapon. Dominika’s first mission finds her confronting Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton), a C.I.A. agent who the Russian’s know was working with an informant, and a dangerous game of trust ensues.

Despite Edgerton’s recent comments about critics, I’m still a big fan of his work. He continues to impress with each role he takes on and has definitely become a leading man. It’s no different in this film, and his charisma really makes you connect with Nate. In fact, the opening sequence of the film was surprising, as it introduces both Dominika and Nate kamagrawiki crosscutting back and forth as one prepares for her big performance and the other is meeting with his Russian contact. It sets him up to be an agent who will put everything on the line to protect his sources, and he begins winning over the audience instantly. Jennifer Lawrence’s accent threatened to be too much of a distraction in the trailer but ended up being tolerable during the film. She is definitely the lead, but Edgerton gives a stronger performance.

Francis Lawrence’s movie is a slow burn Cold War inspired spy movie set in today’s world. This film is not about the action, but rather the actions the characters take on life’s chess board. Every move affects the outcome – and if a player shows their strategy too soon, an adept opponent will take advantage. The pacing is rather slow and the film goes on for about thirty minutes too long, but the end does offer a satisfying pay-off.

Final thoughts…

Red Sparrow wasn’t as bad as I had expected it to be. However, there were times in the movie where I would have loved to be able to skip ten minutes ahead. I don’t mind a slow spy film, but I am more partial to the action-packed ones. Red Sparrow earns the Decent Watch rating.

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