Red Sparrow

Marvel Studios has been rumored to be planning a Black Widow stand alone film for their next phase of films.  However, despite what appears to be the case, that movie is not being released this weekend.  Instead, the film is called Red Sparrow, starring Jennifer Lawrence, instead of Scarlett Johansson.

To be fair, the trailer certainly makes this film feel like the Black widow movie that so many people have wanted Marvel to make, but after seeing it, there is not that much in common with the two characters.  A Marvel Studios’ Black Widow movie would be surely be awesome, while Red Sparrow…

Is not good.

That might even be kind.  I did not like Red Sparrow much at all.  The best part of the film was the number of excuses it found to have Jennifer Lawrence naked.

Jennifer Lawrence played Dominika, a Russian ballet dancer, who, after a terrible accident, cannot do what she loves and is recruited into the Red Sparrow program in order to save her ailing mother (Joely Richardson).  Once in the program, Dominika is trained as a spy, leaning heavily on the …let’s say… seduction of the job and she quickly becomes one of the top Sparrows around. 

She then crosses paths with CIA agent Joel Edgerton and they fall for each other.  Or do they?  Is it all just a trick to get the mission accomplished?  Who cares.

To be honest, I never once felt confused or uncertain about where the loyalties of Lawrence would be.  I won’t spoil where they fell, but I was not confused or taken in by anything that happened.

Red Sparrow was boring.  It was way too long and the story just dragged for most of the film.  The action was fine when it came around, but this film saw itself as a thinking person’s spy movie, but it fell real short.

There were a lot of exploitative scenes in the film that were there for shock value more than anything else.  There were several torture scenes and several sexually charged scenes that were unnecessarily brutal and makes one wonder why they would put this film out with these scenes in the climate of the world today.

Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton do not have much chemistry between them and it just does not work.  I did not buy how much the film expects you believe they were connected, and the film’s story depends on that relationship being an important aspect of the film.

The cast is fine, but there are no side characters that stand out at all in Red Sparrow, with the possible exception of Charlotte Rampling, who was the Matron of the Sparrow training camp and she was very over-the-top campy.  Had the film been more like that, or we got more of that character, I think things would have been better.

In the end, this is not a Black widow movie as it first seemed to be.  In fact, there is not much comparable between Natasha and Jennifer Lawrence’s Dominika.  Outside of the Russian connection, they are not similar.  So Marvel Studios, we are still waiting for you to knock it out of the park with Black Widow.  When we do see Black Widow, no one will remember Red Sparrow.  That is for sure.

2 stars


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