RED SPARROW (MA15+)
BEWARE BAD BLOOD AND BROKEN WINGS, US, 139 MIN
Should we call someone? This violent, sexual thriller marks the third film in a row (after
Passengers and Mother!) where Jennifer Lawrence is a whipping girl for male mistreatment. When it isn’t pressing as many pervy buttons as it can – you’ll lose count of how often Lawrence is stripped naked, beaten and worse – Red Sparrow can work up an intriguing take on a new Cold War where the Russians have a head start on their distracted American adversaries. Lawrence plays Dominika, a former Russian star ballerina blackmailed to become a sexually weaponised secret agent who must target her wiles at an unsuspecting American spy (Joel Edgerton). The basic thriller stuff, though arguably a touch too overcomplicated for its own good, has a way of getting you leaning forward in your seat. However, the other dirty, damaging stuff – particularly the flesh-piercing violence – keeps daring you to look at the floor and hope for the best.