JENNIFER LAWRENCE takes flight as a lethally seductive russian secret agent
Jennifer Lawrence plays a ballerina recruited as a spy in the espionage thriller Red Sparrow
SPY THRILLER Friday, Sky Premiere HD, 12.10pm & 8pm
JENNIFER LAWRENCE IS back in tandem with Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence for Red Sparrow, which sounds as though it could be a further instalment of the earlier series yet is actually an espionage thriller.
The mood, however, remains grim. Lawrence may have left behind the world of dystopian fantasy adventure, but the ordeals she goes through here are every bit as brutal as those endured by former heroine Katniss Everdeen.
Her new character is Russian prima ballerina Dominika Egorova, coerced by her devious uncle (Matthias Schoenaerts) into working for Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the SVR, after her career with the Bolshoi is ended by an on-stage accident.
She is sent to ‘Sparrow School’, a bleak spy academy run by Charlotte Rampling’s icy matron, who tells her new charge, ‘If you cannot be of service to the state I am to put a bullet through your head.’ And being of service to the state means her being trained in the arts of seduction and manipulation.
Her first mission takes her to Budapest to ply her new skills on Joel Edgerton’s canny CIA agent, the handler of a deep-cover Russian mole. Soon, though, she is forced to play a perilous double game.
Based on a novel by former CIA agent Jason Matthews, the film takes its far-fetched story extremely seriously, serving up grisly violence and lurid sex as the labyrinthine plot unwinds. The results lack the dazzle of 2017’s
Atomic Blonde, but Lawrence’s steely grace and deadpan inscrutability make the spy shenanigans work. 2018, 15, 140min
JENNIFER’S LATEST ASSIGNMENT WOULD TAKE HER TO SOME VERY DARK PLACES