Red Sparrow

Thumper's father said, "If ya can't say sumpthin' nice, don't say nuthin' at all." Obviously, a movie review can't be totally blank, so I'm struggling to find "sumpthin' nice" to say.

We watch as a Bolshoi ballerina suffers a horrific injury and wonder, was it an accident or was it deliberate?

My first thought was that those 15-year-old boys must have had a good time, thinking up one scurrilous, sexually suggestive situation after another. Then I looked him up and director Francis Lawrence ("Hunger Games") isn't 15. Maybe a juvenile screenwriter? Hmmm... Justin Haythe ("The Lone Ranger") seems to be old enough to know better. The purient scenes didn't titillate though, because of the awkwardly conveyed "ick" factor.

Some of Mr. Lawrence's cast:
  • Jennifer Lawrence ("Silver Linings Playbook") Dominika (get it? Nudge, nudge) must find some other way to support her frail mother, as her medical coverage with the Bolshoi has been cancelled.
  • Joel Edgerton ("It Comes at Night") American Intelligence officer Nate is working with a mole in the Soviet government. The Soviets want that name!
  • Matthias Schoenaerts ("The Danish Girl") Vanya can provide Dominika with an option. After all, an uncle should try to help his niece. (This actor looks so much like Putin it's spooky!)
  • Charlotte Rampling ("The Sense of an Ending") The Matron provides specific training in her unique school. (I agree with Dominika's blunt name for it.)
  • Jeremy Irons ("Justice League") General Korchnoi says, "There are no accidents."
  • Mary-Louise Parker ("Mr. Mercedes") almost steals the show as the drunken (and inept!) Stephanie, who has something to sell.
This is rated a hard R, so expect profanity, nudity, fisticuffs, many many sexual situations, torture, knives, guns and a lot of alcohol.  Anyone who knows me will agree that I am NOT a prude, but I yawned through one outrageous groaner after another and our less-than impressed screening audience was silent as we shuffled out of the theater.
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See what I mean:
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