Review: Red Sparrow
A personal fascination with the Cold War era of history, alongside a love of the action genre in general, has drawn me to a lot of poor movies. I have managed to find the diamond in the rough in such a niche vein of cinema, with Atomic Blonde clutching the crown of 2017’s Best Film. Red Sparrow is an extremely similar movie when you think about it. A female lead, the exact same setting but this time it’s Jennifer Lawrence and the pop-punk soundtrack and visual flair is nowhere to be found.
Red Sparrow is one of those movies. You know the ones I mean, a film that tries to take itself so seriously no matter what the writing throws up. This all too serious nature makes it impossible to have fun with Red Sparrow. It’s not because it’s so serious, but because it just doesn’t make sense, and a tad lighter tone would’ve given the movie so much wiggle room. Instead, it becomes an altruistic blob of a movie, combining the weakest parts of the spy genre with the most meddling and boring parts of the action genre.
Throwing in Jennifer Lawrence (who performs throughout the entire film with a terrible Russian accent) isn’t the best idea. She’s not the worst actress in the world, but her outputs that I’ve seen haven’t been the most impressive. By all means, she’s definitely lead material, but she’s not had the chance to showcase her talent in recent years, and Red Sparrow does nothing to remedy this situation. A very dull performance not just from Lawrence, but from everyone involved.
The only cast member that comes close to a somewhat palatable performance is Jeremy Irons, and he’s not the most interesting character either. Come to think of it, none of the characters throughout are really all that interesting. Joel Edgerton does pretty much nothing interesting, Irons hams it up as he always does. I’ve always wondered how everyone knows of Jeremy Irons, yet the only prominent movie roles he’s had in the past decade are in Justice League and Assassin’s Creed.
I’m not surprised that Red Sparrow is a bust, especially since Francis Lawrence also directed Constantine way back in the mid-2000s. So even though the bar was set excruciatingly low, Red Sparrow has still managed to bore and disappoint me to no end. It’s incompetent, boring and there’s nothing that sets it out from contemporaries of the genre, not even the over the top violence. A discount version of Atomic Blonde, there’s nothing of merit throughout the entirety of Red Sparrow.