Red Sparrow (2018)
Directed by Francis Lawrence
Based on the book Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews
Screenplay by Justin Haythe
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Ciaran Hinds, Joely Richardson, Jeremy Irons
A ballet dancer (Lawrence) is recruited into the Russian intelligence service. She quickly learns that there is no limit to the sacrifices she might have to make to do the job.
This story is based on Jason Matthews novel Red Sparrow. The film was written by Justin Haythe (Revolutionary Road) and directed by Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire). The movie stars Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), Joel Edgerton (Warrior), and Matthias Schoenaerts (The Danish Girl). The cast also includes Charlotte Rampling (45 Years), Ciaran Hinds (The Woman in Black), Jeremy Irons (The Mission), and Joely Richardson (Snowden).
This is an interesting story that combines elements of political thriller with action and suspense. The story works within a unique premise that provides a number of great settings. The strength of the writing comes from the way the characters interact. This isn’t so much about the dialogue, but more about the way the intrigue is woven into the story. The dialogue is solid, but nothing stands out as exceptional. The real issues in the story come from a lack of balance. While some elements of the story are great, others seem like afterthoughts. This might not be a great story, but there are some good payoffs. There are also some great twists that make this one fun.
The actors did a nice job with the material in this one. Jennifer Lawrence does a good job with a deeply emotional role. There are some really tough physical moments for her character, and she handles them nicely. She also connected nicely with the other actors in this one. There are some great moments between her and the rest of the cast. Joel Edgerton also does a good job in this one. His role is a typical one in political thrillers, but he keeps it fresh and does good work. The rest of the central cast all do nice work as well. Matthias Schoenaerts does a great job with one of my favorite characters in this one. Charlotte Rampling, Ciaran Hinds, and Jeremy Irons all add solid work of their own in this one. There are a couple of weaker performances within this one, but nothing that takes much away from the film.
The issues in this one really boil down to the story and editing. This one suffers from a pace that is far too slow given the material. The action sequences are a welcome jump in pace, but they are far too short. The story also could’ve benefited from a lot of cuts. There are several moments in the story that are unnecessary and sometimes used to point out the obvious.
The production work is good, with nice cinematography, sets, and locations. This one also has some very graphic violence that ups the intensity. This one has some issues, but it might be worth checking out if you love the stars. People who love thrillers might also want to give this one a try. I give this one 2.8 out of 5 stars.