Thursday, March 1, 2018

Red Sparrow

Adapted from Jason Matthews' 2013 novel of the same name (which apparently "borrowed" heavily from Black Widow's comic history), and starring Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Lawrence, Red Sparrow is a disappointment in every since of the word. This movie is B-A-D. A slow burn spy thriller, with jolts of quick-cut stylized action, plot holes big enough to drive the Death Star through, and sex scenes so laughable only Showgirls fans can truly appreciate them, the film is a complete waste of time for everyone involved. For the audience, it's an excruciating, although sometimes laughably bad, experience.

We open with a career-ending injury for Russian prima ballerina Dominika Egorova (Lawrence) leading her uncle (Matthias Schoenaerts) to ship her off to become a spy trained trained not in espionage, weapons, or spycraft, but only seduction. After a relatively short stay, Dominika is thrown into the field to seduce an American agent (Joel Edgerton) in hopes that he might give up the name of a mole within the Russian government. Of course our girl, with no real training, will out-fox both American and Russian spies to further her own agenda.

Subplots include Mary-Louise Parker slumming it here as a corrupt chief of staff to a U.S. Senator in a movie that makes your reconsider how bad Red 2 was in comparison to this clusterfuck of a film. We also get the growing pressure with the Russian government to find the mole, agents and officials on her own side attempting to screw her over, Edgerton taking shit from his superiors for protecting the mole's identity from the Russians, the U.S. attempting to turn Dominika into a double-agent, and Dominika getting chastised at school for not disrobing on command in front of the entire student body and refusing to allow herself to be raped in the showers. Seriously, WTF were the people on set thinking?

Throw in some awful dialogue, crazy torture sequences, and a ridiculous climax and you have all the makings of one the year's worst films. Somewhere deep, deep down there may be an okay throwaway B-movie hidden somewhere in this script, but when no one (and I mean no one) is having any fun with a film far too ridiculous to be this serious (and far, far, far too ridiculous to be taken seriously), what can the audience do except thank themselves if they are in a theater that serves alcohol?

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