There’s a huge disparage between what the film is trying to do, and what it actually manages to produce
Red Sparrow is a painfully dire and unmistakably bleak picture, not even worthy of boot polishing the films it so desperately wants to be. With an empty setting, a stripped-bare script and a needlessly brutal set of torture scenes, Red Sparrow comes across as a sadistic and pointless piece of work that drags out its pain, as if it were rubbing in just how bad it can be.
When leading ballerina Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) experiences an on-stage accident effectively ending any future career, her uncle, Ivan Egorov, drags her into an operation putting her life at risk. After witnessing a terrible act during the mission, Dominika becomes embroiled with the Russian government, resulting in admittance to an elite school training new Sparrows; human weapons, able to extract precise information from anybody in a multitude of ways. Armed with her new powers, Dominika is set to work in Budapest where her communication with an American agent puts both of their lives at risk.
The overly convoluted and lagging script becomes tiresome and overbearing very quickly. There’s a huge disparage between what the film is trying to do, and what it actually manages to produce, leaving Red Sparrow to rely on its brutal and tortuous action scenes. Except these scenes only add to the endless list of negative adjectives that describe the film.
Jennifer Lawrence is used as if she were a piece of meat, shown off by the Sparrows as much as she is by the filmmakers. Showing one penis does not make up for this.
Lawrence has poured her heart into interviews promoting the film, describing how hard it was personally for her to make. Yet the films nature leaves her to appear naïve and misled, giving the film her everything for very little in return.
The cameras paint the stage as bleak and beige in just about the only well styled element of the film, but they don’t cover for its seemingly endless list of weaknesses. It’s irritating, tiresome and annoyingly weak, showing just how wrong thrillers can go, especially when their story is as limp as Red Sparrow’s.