FILM REVIEW – ‘RED SPARROW’ (2018)

Currently in theaters is Red Sparrow, the latest film from director Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games franchise, Constantine, I Am Legend) starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, and Jeremy Irons. Nerd Nation Magazine was in attendance for the early press screening courtesy of 20th Century Fox, Allied Marketing, and Regal Cinemas.

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(image courtesy of 20th Century Fox)

When I watched this movie, I will admit, I went in expecting it to just be utter crap. Not because it wasn’t a good premise, mind you, because it is – but because of my well-documented abject dislike of Jennifer Lawrence as an actress. Nothing personal, but she has to be the most one-dimensional, wooden actress I’ve ever had the displeasure of watching. Thankfully, I have yet to actually pay to see any of her movies, so, it’s not been as painful as it could’ve been.

Now, once I dissected the movie and pulled out the main and sub plots and really looked at the film, rather than just its leading lady, I can honestly say, this movie wasn’t half bad. It turns out that Lawrence actually plays a perfectly fine Soviet spy. Strong, confident, and slightly off putting, she never once betrays what she’s thinking, just as you’d expect a good spy would be able to do. Joel Edgerton’s CIA operative, Nate Nash, is a bit unbelievable, though. I don’t think that’s his fault, but more a fault of the writing. No one believes that a CIA agent would actually care about his informant enough to risk blowing his own cover.

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(image courtesy of 20th Century Fox)

Like I said, once I pulled out the plot and sub plots, this movie rose in my opinion. It really is a page turner…uh…plot twister. It kept me guessing, and, if you know me, that’s pretty hard to do. I did have some idea of where it might be going, but even I had to laugh out loud when the final shebang hit. Bravo. If I really had to be honest about who the real star of this movie is, I would have to say it was the plot.

I would’ve liked to have seen more action in this movie. I know, I know, “but it’s an espionage movie, not an action flick.” Don’t tell me you haven’t been spoiled by the frequent action sequences in the Bourne franchise, or Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan books turned movies. I know I have. And why didn’t I get to see more of Jeremy Irons’ General Korchnoi? His character seemed to be integral to the final plot, yet, he wasn’t in the movie for more than ten minutes (yes, I’m a huge fan)? Whatever.

I could say more about this, but there really just isn’t much else to say. Again, it wasn’t a half-bad spy movie, it just wasn’t really that good, either. The story was the real star. Jennifer Lawrence is the same person in every movie, it just happens that the character in this movie needed her particular skill set. I didn’t get enough action or Irons to keep me one hundred percent interested in the movie, and there are some rather odd inconsistencies when it comes to technology in different parts of the movie (seriously, is it taking place in 2018, or 1984?) that might be explained away by it taking place in Russia. Having never been there, I have no idea if they still use old tech flip phones or *shudder* phones with (don’t say it!) cords. OMG. Like I said, I’ve never been there, so I guess can’t comment on it.

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(image courtesy of 20th Century Fox)

The Bottom Line:
Overall, Red Sparrow is what it is. A middle-of-the-road, run-of-the-mill, big budget spy movie. It’s not that bad. It’s not that good. And I just can’t personally recommend anyone paying theater prices to go see this one. Just wait for it to come to Netflix or land in the $5 DVD bin… because that’s where it’ll ultimately end up. – 5.0/10

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-Hannah Collins
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine
@NerdNationPress

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