Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to 'Sparrow School,' a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission, targeting a C.I.A. agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.
A gritty crime saga which follows the lives of an elite unit of the LA County Sheriff's Dept. and the state's most successful bank robbery crew as the outlaws plan a seemingly impossible heist on the Federal Reserve Bank.
O'Shea Jackson Jr.
A young Russian intelligence officer is assigned to seduce a first-tour CIA agent who handles the CIA's most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young officers collide in a charged atmosphere of trade-craft, deception, and inevitably forbidden passion that threatens not just their lives but the lives of others as well.
After director Francis Lawrence boarded the project, he worked hand-in-hand with screenwriter Justin Haythe. "There wasn't a rushed development process on this film," producer David Ready said. "It was a finely tuned process. Francis knew that this was going to be his next film and he wanted the screenplay to reflect his exact vision on the page. It was one of those experiences where you get to bring to fruition what you want to shoot." Director Lawrence added: "I'd worked with Justin before. And he shared my vision for the movie. Sometimes, stories don't come together, and translations of books to screenplay don't always work as easily as one might think but this one kind of coalesced. Justin and I worked quite hard at it and spent a lot of hours in rooms together over the six months or so that it took to create the draft but there wasn't much struggle. It just kind of seemed to work and to come together nicely." See more »
The medals worm by the Jeremy Irons character, Russian General Korlinoi, when in uniform, are US Army medals. They include the Silver Star, the Purple Heart and the Army Good Conduct Medal. See more »
The Cold War did not end, it merely shattered into a thousand pieces.
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The title doesn't appear until the 10-minute mark. See more »
Based upon the book of the same name by ex-CIA agent Jason Matthews, Red Sparrow is a modern-day spy thriller by director Francis Lawrence (Hunger Games: Catching Fire, I Am Legend) that harks back to the days of the cold war thrillers of the 70s/80s but fails to update it appropriately, coming across as a piece of vitriolic propaganda and little else. Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone) and the rest of the top-notch cast try their damndest to give it some credibility but the story and premise make for a predictably silly and gratuitous affair on many levels.
Dominika Egorova (Lawrence) is the top female dancer at the Bolshoi ballet theatre in Russia, who succumbs to a terrible injury that ruins her career. As the Bolshoi theatre seeks to wash its hands clean of 'damaged goods', giving her job and home to a rival, Dominika and her sick mother's welfare are put in jeopardy. Seeing an opportunity, Dominika's spymaster uncle makes her an offer she can't refuse, in return for the safeguard of her mother's health, leading her into the world of espionage and the Sparrow program, where seduction and the art of the honey-trap are the key weapons.
By the time you get through a quarter of the mind-numbingly long, 139 minutes, the viewer is left in no doubt of Red Sparrow's predictable outcome. This inevitable plotline is laboured along by the director's attempts to mask it with half-assed twists and turns that just don't feel plausible when putting it in the life or death, professional espionage scenario that the story is supposed to portray. Joel Edgerton (The Gift) is as reliable as ever playing the CIA agent that she ends up in a game of cat and mouse with but the relationship does not feel natural, especially with how the script moves their love-tinged story along. The dialogue is cliche-ridden, telegraphic and Jennifer Lawrence, although competent enough, acting wise, lets her slightly dodgy accent drop every so often, making for some unintentional moments of humour. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy this is not.
The main trio of 'evil' Russians has the very talented Matthias Schoenaerts (The Drop) - looking very Putinesque! - playing the devious spymaster uncle to a believable degree, Jeremy Irons hamming it up as a ruthless general and Charlotte Rampling in an absolutely ludicrously over-the-top role as the sinister Matron of the Sparrow program. The whole Sparrow training scene is like something out of Armand Ianucci's fantastic, The Death Of Stalin, minus the satire, as it serves to show the viewer how Russia is trying to take over the planet and that Russians are inherent bigots, deviants, rapists and sociopaths. These scenes are probably the most significant pile of gratuitous excrement that I've had grace my eyes and ears for quite some time.
The overall theme of this nonsense is to remind us not to forget that Russians in general are twisted, violent and manipulative control freaks, while all the men are partial to being woman-beaters and rather rapey, apparently. And of course, the CIA are all good ole boys who occasionally mess up, but are out to free the world from tyranny and have everyone's best interests at heart. I kid you not. No exaggeration.
I'm not sure how much screenwriter Justin Haythe (The Lone Ranger) carved up the story of the book but this is trashy beyond belief. One thing that is for sure is that director Francis Lawrence clearly knows that the biggest asset they have in this is Jennifer Lawrence's body, as the amount of disrobing or scantily clad scenes, along with blatant arse shots that she's subjected to, is off the charts. And when that is the most impressive aspect of your film, then you should know that there's a problem. Red Sparrow is what I can only be described as twaddle - brutal, nasty, occasionally boring but always gratuitous twaddle.
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