Red Sparrow (15)

The topic of spies and double agents is still relevant today. Set in modern-day Moscow Violent spy thriller Red Sparrow tells the tale of a ‘whore school’ where young teens are taught the art of seduction.

Who can you trust when you’re a master manipulator? That’s the question posed to Dominika Egorova, played by Jennifer Lawrence, when an accident leaves the prima ballerina with no means to support herself.

Unable to pay medical bills for her ailing mother Dominika’s uncle Vanya (Matthias Schoenaerts) enrolls her into ‘Sparrow School,’ a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission is to track down C.I.A agent Nate Nash, played by Joel Edgerton, who threatens to bring down the security on both nations.

The closer Dominika gets to Nate, the more she realises her true potential and the plot thickens.

Trust is a commodity that Dominika can’t afford. Lines between patriotism, love and survival become blurred. The secret agent uses her powers of seduction and manipulation to extract information. But is she being manipulated? And if so by who?

Red Sparrow fails to utilise Jennifer Lawrence’s skillset. Instead she’s given a apathetic character to play. There’s evidence of past trauma that has caused Dominika to be blank and subdued but this is never explained. So we’re left with a character that isn’t that fussed about saving her sick mother who’s supposed to be the trigger for joining the sparrows.

Dominika’s journey is sold to us as empowering, but in truth it isn’t. Despite her intelligence it all comes back to one thing, her body. In a time where Lawrence can take the pick of what movies she can work on, this one was ill-advised.

Joel Edgerton is rather nonchalant as are Matthias Schoenaerts and Ciarán Hinds. The only actor that seems to have mustered some interest is the talented Jeremy Irons.

By Ruth Walker

★★☆☆☆

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