Red Sparrow (2018)

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Francis Lawrence directs Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton and Matthias Schoenaerts in this sexy spy thriller about an injured ballerina who becomes a seducer for the Russian secret service. 

A suprisingly frank adult film, more similar to the movies Sharon Stone made in the early 1990s than The Hunger Games. There’s nudity, kink, gushing violence and brutal torture. Whereas Verhoeven may have revelled in all this nasty titillation, this remains sombre and po-faced throughout. It gives all the flesh on show a kinda cold meat on a slab matter of factness. Lawrence glowers in a series of dress up outfits, which are somehow sexier the less they reveal. She also endures a prolonged sequence of physical and psychological harshness which some may find troubling. But with a well planned labyrinthine plot and strong support performances, I actually found Red Sparrow strangely satisfying. Less a Hollywood porn film, more a pawn film. One like A Prophet or The Drop, where the smallest piece on the playing board manoeuvres itself around the threats and comes out the Queen.

6

 

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