Geek Review: Red Sparrow

The joke around the Net is the new movie Red Sparrow is somehow just a Black Widow movie with a text switch.

It’s actually based on a 2013 spy novel by a fellow named Jason Matthews.

Oh, hey, I may have actually beat Watson to a review.

Jennifer Lawrence stars as Dominika Egorova, a ballerina for the Bolshoi Ballet when an accident breaks her leg and ends her career.  Her mother has a crippling illness of some kind, and without her ability to dance, she won’t have the money to take care of her mom.  Fortunately (or not), her uncle is a high ranking member of the Russian spy service, willing to recruit Dominika to the “sparrow” program.  What are the sparrows?  Russian agents of both sexes recruited to seduce foreign agents to give Russia the edge in a Cold War that they claim never really ended.

As it is, there is a mission for her when she finishes her training:  an American CIA agent (Joel Edgerton) has an unknown contact within the Russian government, and Dominika is dispatched to get the mole’s name.  But she might have her own thing going on.  She does have her mother to consider, but what is her actual agenda?

Director Francis Lawrence (no relation) reunites with his former Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence for a movie that has a number of fine performances (especially from Lawrence), but has a script that, when it doesn’t come across as somewhat exploitative, also isn’t overly surprising in how everything turns out.  Stylish, good acting, so-so story.  Eight and a half drunken cameos from Mary-Louise Parker.


Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

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