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March 7, 2018

Red Sparrow (2018) --- "Ballerina Is Forced To Become A Sex Spy. Find Out How She Gets Back At Those That Wronged Her."

Plot Summary
Prima ballerina Dominika Egorova faces a bleak and uncertain future after she suffers an injury that ends her career. She soon turns to Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people to use their minds and bodies as weapons. Egorova emerges as the most dangerous Sparrow after completing the sadistic training process. As she comes to terms with her new abilities, Dominika meets a CIA agent who tries to convince her that he is the only person she can trust. (1) 

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     WARNING: The film has a running time of 2hr and 19 min which can be long for some audience members – at least ten people left the theater where I was at – but my father and I were able to sit through the entire film. However, before you decide to see this film please be aware that it is Rated R for strong violence, torture, sexual content, language and some graphic nudity.  So beware that the film is for mature audience and children should not be present.

     Red Sparrow (2018) reunites Jennifer Lawrence (Mother!) with Catching Fire (2013) director Francis Lawrence (both contain no relation) for J-Law’s most ambitious film to date. The film is based on the book, of the same name, by Jason Matthews, a retired CIA operative, and follows the story of a Russian ballerina turned ‘special’ spy, known as Sparrows. Some audience members might think that this film is Atomic Blonde (2017) meets Black Swan (2010) meets Molly's Game (2018), and while you may be right that there are some similar aspects the overall style and delivery method of Red Sparrow are unique.
     The first 15 minutes reveal the dark tone of the film; it’s stylish, provocative, sensual, a bit unnerving, and violent. This kind of brutality is needed to tell a story such as this. The story is different than most spy films. Rather than the typical cool gadgets and fighting skills, the spies in this film are taught to use their minds and bodies to complete a mission, so don’t expect there to be a lot of action sequences. But the action scenes that we do see are violent and well choreographed. There were a number of surprising twists throughout, the final twist at the end is the most mind-blowing of all. The background music (James Newton HowardThe Dark Knight) added an element of intensity during moments of suspense and somber tones during times of sadness. The costumes are worthy of high fashion by being pleasing to the eye and fit perfectly within the scene they're given; they add much to the characters and do so in such a subtle way. The only issue that I have were the few moments of surprise nudity that we were not expecting, I guess the trailer kind of lets you know to expect it but it was very subtle.
     The acting is really good. Jennifer Lawrence has delivered some amazing performance since the moment she entered the acting scene and we are only just scratching the surface to her talent. She was sarcastically melancholy in Silver Linings Playbook (2012), a hardcore North-eastern mom in Joy (2015), and the iconic Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games franchise. And while I did not care to see her latest film, Mother! (2017), I found this one to be pretty good. This character demanded a lot from her both physically and emotionally but she manages to adapt throughout the film and fill every scene with a heartfelt sense of purpose, even when we don’t yet know what it is. The supporting cast was also pretty good too. Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby) as Nate Nash is the perfect male lead and he has great chemistry with Lawrence, Matthias Schoenaerts (The Danish Girl) is mysteriously disturbing as Dominika’s uncle Vanya Egorov, CiarĂ¡n Hinds (HP: Deathly Hallows) is interesting as Zakharov, Joely Richardson (Emerald City) is beautiful as Dominika’s mother Nina Egorova, and Jeremy Irons (Justice League) as General Korchnoi is as brilliant as ever.

     Overall, Red Sparrow (2018) a thrilling spy film with a new twist and a more sexual aspect. The film is a bit longer than most spy thrillers but if you can stay until the end then you will be able to really appreciate the entire product. The performances were great, the music was fitting, and the final twist at the end is the most mind-blowing part. If you’re looking for a unique spy thriller, then this film is the one for you as it will keep you guessing until the end.

"... because I told myself that I am Special."
- Dominika 

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  7.8 of 10 stars
Worth Buying:  7.8 of 10 stars

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