Red Spar­row

The Sun (Malaysia) - - ENTERTAINMENT -

WAY BACK in 1985, a preTer­mi­na­tor Linda Hamil­ton played a Rus­sian spy trained in the art of se­duc­tion as well as es­pi­onage in Se­cret Weapons. It was a bit cliched and dumb, but Hamil­ton’s char­ac­ter was like­able.

To­day, you have Red Spar­row, with some scenes al­most sim­i­lar to Se­cret Weapons, but a story driven by a far an­grier hero­ine.

Based on a novel of the same name writ­ten by for­mer CIA op­er­a­tive Ja­son Matthews, the film has been ‘Hol­ly­wood­ised’ (ap­par­ently, the more be­liev­able parts have been cut) to ap­peal to Lawrence fans who want to see her as a sexy femme fa­tale.

It be­gins with Do­minika Egorova ( Lawrence), a star bal­le­rina who suf­fers a ter­ri­ble on-stage ac­ci­dent that not only puts an end to her ca­reer, but also the means to take care of her very ill mother.

Her un­cle, Vanya (Schoe­naerts), who works for a Rus­sian In­tel­li­gence agency known as SVR, shows her ev­i­dence that the ac­ci­dent was caused by her dance part­ner and ri­val. An an­gry Do­minika then sets out to stalk, and beat the crap out of them.

Us­ing her anger and des­per­a­tion, Vanya con­vinces her to work for him, but first she is asked to se­duce a politi­cian. Things get messy when the politi­cian rapes her, and he, in turn, is killed by an as­sas­sin sent by Vanya.

Do­minika is then sent to a spe­cial school to be trained in the ways of se­duc­tion by a stern ma­tron (Char­lotte Ram­pling).

Af­ter some mishaps, Vanya is sent on her first as­sign­ment to Bu­dapest where she is sup­posed to find CIA agent Nate Nash (Edger­ton) who can’t re­turn to Rus­sia af­ter blow­ing his own cover in or­der to pro­tect his mole, a mys­te­ri­ous man who has been pass­ing sen­si­tive Rus­sian se­crets to him.

It is dur­ing the mis­sion that Do­minika re­alises that she is merely a pawn, and how im­por­tant it is for her to gain the up­per hand, or risk be­ing killed.

At al­most two hours long (courtesy of our cen­sors), the movie does drag on a bit. There are quite a few bru­tal tor­ture scenes that only serve to show that Do­minika is a mu­tant who can with­stand get­ting wal­loped on the head and face with a ba­ton.

Over­all, watch it for Lawrence, who makes ev­ery ef­fort to rise above the script.

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