Viewing this movie right before the Oscars and anticipating all the virtucrat blather about MeToo, TimesUp and Parkland, one is forced to react strongly to the heavy dose of pornography and violence on screen. Don’t see this if you might be upset by people having their limbs broken, their heads and torsos bashed with a heavy metal object, their skin flayed, their bodies raped, their necks choked, and of course lots of shooting to kill. In fact, this movie is the equivalent of the assault rifle capable of discharging ten or twenty times more firepower than you ever thought possible.
The plot is too convoluted to explain but the gist of it concerns Jennifer Lawrence playing a Russian prima ballerina who is purposely injured by a jealous rival - think I Tonya with toes shoes instead of skates. Since she can no longer dance, she will lose her apartment and insurance both of which are paid for by the Bolshoi Ballet and essential for Jen’s sick mother, played lethargically by Joely Richardson who doesn’t look sick or old enough to warrant the worst of what’s to come. Poor Jen will have to use her special insight into people as a spy/hooker, hired by her pederast uncle who works for the state. For this training, she must go to Whore School where Charlotte Rampling will teach her a thing or two about male and female parts and how to find people’s v-spot (vulnerability) so as to get them to do what you want. This is where we get to see Jennifer frontally and backfully nude and we immediately notice that this voluptuous body belongs more to the art of pole dancing than the rigors of ballet. But never mind - Jen has other changes to consider, such as bleaching her hair, throwing away her cane and being able to run perfectly despite that badly fractured, twisted leg. Did anyone get hired to deal with the continuity in this script?
Yes, there is a love interest for Jen and he is played by Joel Edgerton with the same flat affect that all the actors assume and since he likes to swim, we get more opportunities to see the star in a revealing bathing suit and quickly out of it in the shower. By now we have noticed the faint beginning of cellulite in Jen’s upper thigh aarea which we might not have seen if the plot had been more scrutable and if the actors had stopped talking like my son’s fifth grade classmate who refused to use contractions: “You will not do this to me,” “I can not endure this much longer,” “I must not laugh and I shall not cry.”
Red Sparrow marks the first time that Jennifer Lawrence has been boring on screen. Her natural expressiveness is concealed under a mask-like face framed by drapery hair an accentuated by the ancient cigarette prop that goes well with a cold stare. After two hours and twenty minutes, this movie will come to an end. You will feel sullied by having sat through it and smeared by its viciousness, violence and wholesale nudity. You don’t need to be a scholar to figure out how a steady diet of such entertainment contributes to a culture of de-sensitized men who believe that women who want to show you all their parts also want you to play with them. Tonight, you can watch the women and men of Hollywood who eagerly participate in churning out this material pretend to be offended by it in real life.
Spoiler Alert _ The bird never shows up!
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