Red Sparrow   review by Bobby Blakey

Jennifer Lawrence continues to take on a variety of roles and always seems to be able to deliver. Her latest film Red Sparrow takes her into the world of spies and assassins and co-stars Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker and Jeremy Irons with Hunger Games: Catching Fire and both Mokingjay chapters director Francis Lawrence at the helm. Could this film offer up something different to the genre that stands out or will it play to many sides to work?

Red Sparrow follows Dominika and her mother who are facing a bleak and uncertain future when she suffers a career-ending injury. That is why she finds herself manipulated into becoming the newest recruit for Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people like her to use their bodies and minds as weapons. After enduring the perverse and sadistic training process, she emerges as the most dangerous Sparrow the program has ever produced. Dominika must now reconcile the person she was with the power she now commands, with her own life and everyone she cares about at risk, including an American CIA agent who tries to convince her he is the only person she can trust. Going into this movie there was a hype to it being another woman action flick or a rip off of the Black Widow characters legacy, but what they delivered was something so much better and happily different.

 

This is a spy thriller as advertised, but I was surprised in a great way to how different it was from what my expectations from the trailers was. The story is dark, dirty and clever without trying to glamorize the genre in any way. Instead you have a character who is not unstoppable and instead uses her sexuality, often times against her will and mind to get what she needs. Lawrence steps into this role like most with perfection. She is so great in the role on every level and goes all in body and soul with the role. You believe who she is and both the torture and pain she endures. This is not a character that is the unstoppable killing machine you might expect, but instead a strong woman who does what she has to do to survive.

 

The rest of the cast are great as well with Edgerton and Irons bringing their own charisma and talents to bring their characters to life. Everyone here works great together and takes the audience fully into this horrible world. IF there were any issues for me it was really that it slows down a bit in the second half. While this is by design it felt like they could have trimmed it a bit more to make it move a little quicker, but it still manages to work. As with all films like this there are twist and turns that some will figure out early on, but it doesn’t hurt the overall finished product which is yet another great performance from Lawrence.

 

For those going in expecting a lot of action you will be sorely disappointed because this is not your usual spy thriller, but instead a whole new animal. There are elements that have been seen in other films, but this one goes in deep enough to make it work better than most. If you are ready for a gritty, sexy spy thriller that does offer up some things that some might find hard to watch in the best way possible then check out Red Sparrow.

In addition to the film this release includes bonus content including commentary, deleted scenes, and numerous featurettes that take you behind bringing this film to life. Join the mysterious and dangerous world of the Sparrows with Red Sparrow available now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

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