Film Review: Red Sparrow (2018)

I had high hopes for this movie. I like a good spy yarn, and done well they can make really great movies.

Jennifer Lawrence is pretty good, her character’s story is credible, although there’s little in terms of backstory to explain why she is who she is. She has inherent skills and attitudes crucial to her survival, but we never really find out how she got them.

Watching the film I was frequently reminded of Inception: the plots within plots within plots, such a staple of Cold War-type stories, is done here too clumsily, without any tangible cause and effect. The writer and director drag us along a twisting road, only showing us the what, never the why or the how.

A couple of times watching the film I realised I had lost the thread of the story, and couldn’t work out if Dominika was good or bad, if I should root for her or against her.

I think it fair to say that the writers boxed themselves in with the twists and turns, and the Deus ex Machina expose at the end was required to quickly tell (not show) us the missing why and how.

Overall, a disappointing film that with more subtle and skilful writing / direction could have been wonderful.

I give this film: 6/10.