I had been interested to see this film as the poster and trailer, for some reason, left me expecting something new and exciting. My only worry, was that it had received a 6.7/10 on IMDb which didn’t fill me with hope. However, as I sometimes enjoy films that are not loved by the masses, Suicide Squad IMDb- 6.1/10 My Rating- 9/10, being the key example: I was interested to see what this film would do and whether I would enjoy it more than others had.
Synopsis: Ballerina Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) severely breaks her leg mid-routine and is rushed off to hospital but told she can never dance again. With dance previously dictating her whole life: she finds herself in real bother when her dance company refuse to pay for the house and medical fees they had covered while she was dancing. Her uncle (Matthias Schoenaerts) gives her a way out and explains she must complete just one job and then she can go back to her old life. But when the job doesn’t go as planned, she is forced to become a Sparrow and goes to a Sparrow training camp, where she learns to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission leads her to Budapest, to extract the name of a mole within the Russian government, from the CIA agent Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton.)
Positives: I thought the initial ideas of this film were very intriguing and engaging and left me feeling very hopeful for what was to come. I thought that the idea of the “Sparrows” was something different and was the main source of our engagement throughout. I thought that it initially built tension well with a number of mini climaxes that keep us involved. I thought some of the scenes were quite gritty and tough, but I think this helped give the story a sense of reality despite all the crazy things going on. I thought that the final scenes were superbly executed and used a very well constructed plot twist to top off the film in style. (I will say no more for fear of spoiling it.)
Negatives: This film stands at 140 minutes which is far too overlong for most films but especially ‘Red Sparrow’. The middle hour could easily have been trimmed to half that time as it just runs back and forth with everybody playing the same game but nobody getting anywhere, which I appreciate may be telling of real life but nobody wants this in a film. Also it made Russia look like the same country you see in videos from the Cold War, which made it seem more of a piece of American propaganda, than a standard film.
Conclusion: I think IMDb’s rating of 6.7 is fair: I personally would say, that it is marginally better than that due to it’s powerful and impactful first half, that was severely let down as it led into the final section.
My Rating: 6.5/10