The previews for this were so exciting, making me expect another Atomic Blonde . And it’s not.
OK, probably...because it entertained me. Red Sparrow is an intriguing movie with very strong acting from our lead babe of the times Jennifer Lawrence. It’s more kind of, why wasn’t it a hardcore meaning actual action-y real action genre action movie? How dare you call it a spy thriller and avoid action? We have people doing action-lite! things. Holding a gun as one threatens someone! Why not action sequences? Because really, it’s not like anyone in the audience right now is going to believe Jennifer Lawrence speaks English to her Russian family and colleagues in Russia as a Russian speaking Russian born person. The movie is weird like that. She’s speaking English “Russian but like, in English!” in a scene and we cut to her speaking English without any direction as to where the American actual English begins speaking to Americans.
Because I’m in the mood for complaining about stuff, I would’ve made some of the scenes literally and metaphorically darker. At the spy camp, everyone there is doing their best cold blooded performance ever, our girl Jennifer also, using nudity as acting in the only time we see her fully nude. The press made it out like she cheaply appeared nude. She didn’t. The nudity went with her using power in a spy camp where she had no authority whatsoever on her life or her future as a spy. Her uncle placed her there without a choice. Be a seducer or die.
And, at the spy camp, it’s happily lit? Sunshine peeking through? No. :/ Shouldn’t happen. The scenes weren’t scary enough nor raw enough in how the lighting and tightness was. I wonder if the studio pressured the director to take things down for a mainstream audience. Seems to be the case. Or the director was pressured not to “go there” in the filming. The script went there. The actors.
As a whole, Red Sparrow is interesting. I loved seeing the director, Francis Lawrence, give us a really great finale. Mr. Lawrence gave us several Hunger Games films and Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” music video. You know the darkness lives within him to have done more in pieces of the movie because his work as a whole is so good . Red Sparrow as a whole too, so good. Patches of it were not scary enough or action-y enough, nor might I say thriller-y enough, and the right thing for him to do would’ve been ripping into the script giving us whatever he’s famous for!
Or, reversal. This story would’ve played out the same had she started as a ballerina in NYC turned USA spy and the rest, no spoilers here. Why not have Jennifer Lawrence act it out that way? Cut out the awkward “I am Russian; not really, kind of?” faux Russian. And, it could be set partially in Europe. No changes. Still cool. Right? As a VIP studio person working with the very talented Francis Lawrence, a guy you don’t let go to waste by thinking all of this through, you should do that. Give the guy everything so he’s ready to whip out the best soufflé ever. Don’t skimp him on ingredients. The soufflé could be good! Plan it better!
You have this girl who’s naturally beautiful going through sexy spy camp to be sexy, playing sexy scenes, and we hardly get to see her using her sex appeal as power? Atomic Blonde allowed Charlize Theron that sophisticated, sex appeal as power storyline that never once felt like she was exploited. Jennifer Lawrence and her director of the same last name (and relation?) need to team up again for a story like this and do it right.
Red Sparrow playing again on TV sometime in the future will catch my attention. I love the idea of Red Sparrow . The movie won’t live on my favorites of all time lists as I expected it would. It’s good enough though for people who like Jennifer Lawrence giving it a great go—is that good enough for you?