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Red Sparrow (2018)
Topic Started: Mar 10 2018, 09:52 AM (200 Views)
Laughing Gravy
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Red Sparrow (2018) Dir. Francis Lawrence
20th Century Fox
30 min. too long / Color / 2.39:1

Russia, modern day (which is roughly 1965 only with cellphones and faster cars), an ex-Bolshoi ballerina is coerced into helping with a political assassination, and then slated to be killed herself - no witnesses. Her uncle is able to get her transferred to whore school instead, where she'll learn to use her body to, um, persuade political targets to, er, be freer with information. She graduates with honors and then it's off on a political mission that includes nasty torture, brutal stabbings, garbage truck accidents, and snipers in the bushes down at the airport.

I didn't hate this movie, but I wanted to. The plot is very much in the vein of 1950s-60s potboiler spy novels where some innocent schnook sees or hears something he/she shouldn't and stumbles into the Cold War as a pawn of some government or other, but the degradation pounded into the leading lady (Jennifer Lawrence) is hard to take although she kinda deserves it for making us spend nearly 2-1/2 hrs. trying to decipher her ridiculous fake accent (she should've just done a Natasha Fatale, HER we could understand). Actually, it's got a good cast, including Joel Edgerton as the American in the plot, Matthias Schoenaerts as the uncle, Mary-Louise Parker especially good as an Senator's Chief of Staff who likes to drink, Jeremy Irons as a general, and Charlotte Rampling playing Lotte Lenya in From Russia with Love.

Million-dollar Dialog:

Rosa Klebb (more or less): "The Cold War did not end, it merely SHATTERED into a THOUSAND pizzas!"

(Or maybe she said "pieces." Hard to tell with those accents.)

The movie, released a week or two ago, is shaping up to be a flop. Good. There's hope for humanity. Incidentally, I saw it with two friends in one o' them movie-type theatres where you can order dinner and they bring it right out to your seat and you can sit there and eat off a tray while you watch. Just like, y'know, eating a TV dinner at home on your couch. Only 17x more expensive.

The best part of the night was the young lady who sold us the tickets; she roared with laughter at every single thing I said (you won't believe this, but I'm quite the quipster in real life).

As I said: there's hope for humanity.
"I'm glad that this question came up, because there are so many ways to answer it that one of them is bound to be right." - Robert Benchley
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CliffClaven
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I remember stumbling into something very much like this on network TV some years back. Sally Kellerman was the schoolmistress, and the first part focused on Soviet girls being so excited about the luxurious perks ("We have apartment! And look! A toaster!"). There was some degradation -- a class assignment was to lose their innocence to a busload of young Russian solders; the heroine is near-tortured by a fake American as a test. Much of it had that same air of a much-earlier cold war potboiler, ending with the heroine escaping to America with her heroic Yankee, while Kellerman and a sidekick muse on the Cost of Failing the Party.

Yeah, Russian spy craft was and is nasty stuff. But this epic was stunningly unpersuasive, like hippies on Dragnet.
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