Red Sparrow is a very contemporary play set against the rising threat of Russian expansionism. The cold war of old has been re-kindled but old spy craft is still a primary tool used against the West.
Enter Jennifer Lawrence as one of the nails used by the Russian hammer against, in this case, the Americans.
The story continues with great pace and gusto that gives the initial impression of being an exciting and gripping story. However, this is no Le Carré or Deighton story. There is no light and dark in the characters. The bad guys are all super-bad and the good guys could almost be wearing white hats.
The viewer is kept guessing about the true motivations of Miss Lawrence’s character till the end, but you can see within the early scenes who is going to lose the most.
On top of this plot is laid a visual assault of violence, gore and sex that is unprecedented in my experience in the legitimate cinema. Many scenes were bordering on the pornographic both in violence and nudity.
This may be artistically justifiable, indeed the presence of several A-List actors would indicate they felt it was justified, but not for me.
This would have benefited from clearer story telling, deeper characterisation and less visual exploitation.
Just 3 out of five stars.