Kyle J. Steenblik

Red Sparrow is Agonizingly Dull [Review]

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Red Sparrow
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Screenplay by: Justin Haythe
Based on Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeremy Irons
Production company: Chernin Entertainment
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date March 2, 2018
Rated R for strong violence, torture, sexual content, language and some graphic nudity
2 stars out of 5
When she suffers a career-ending injury, Dominika and her mother are facing a bleak and uncertain future. That is why she finds herself manipulated into becoming the newest recruit for Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people like her to use their bodies and minds as weapons. After enduring the perverse and sadistic training process, she emerges as the most dangerous Sparrow the program has ever produced. Dominika must now reconcile the person she was with the power she now commands, with her own life and everyone she cares about at risk, including an American CIA agent who tries to convince her he is the only person she can trust.

Red Sparrow may be one of the most needlessly drab and boring films I have seen for a long time. There was an infinite amount of potential for this film to be captivating and engaging. Instead the filmmakers seem to have been determined to alienate the audience by pushing the boundaries of comfort for a narrative with very little payoff. Even the aspect of this film that are extremely well made were exhausting to watch. This may be the best example of a well-made film with a good story that is made unwatchable by poor direction. I can not think of a more apt description of this film other than utterly miserable. No matter how solid the performances, or how interesting the story, if the film is poorly directed and there is no sense of pacing the film can be virtually unwatchable.

About halfway into the Red Sparrow it was fairly clear the direction the story was moving. Most of the plot twists were telegraphed well in advance that there were no surprises. Even if there were surprises I wouldn’t have cared because by the time the film ended I couldn’t have cared less about the fate of any of these characters. And that is about how I feel overall about this movie, I couldn’t care less about it and feel it has already occupied too much of my time.

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