Francis Lawrence, who has worked with Jennifer Lawrence on three “Hunger Games” movies, directs this ultra-violent espionage thriller, in which the titular character joins a long list of (real and fictional) women spies who used their powers of seduction to devastating effect. But, Dominika (Jennifer Lawrence, drool worthy) Egorova wasn’t always that way.
A prima ballerina with the Bolshoi, she and her ailing mother (Joely Richardson) face a bleak future when she is maimed in an onstage “mishap”. Enters Uncle Vanya Dimitrevich (Matthias Schoenaerts) a man after Machiavelli and Chanakya’s own heart, who emotionally blackmails Dominika into joining Charlotte Rampling’s merciless spy “school” that trains youth in the art of seduction and espionage for the Motherland.
Indian viewers are spared full frontal nudity and horrific torture but there is no let-up in tension as Justin Haythe’s smartly-written if somewhat illogical script based on Jason Matthews’ bestseller, ropes in CIA agent Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton) who tries to recruit the Red Sparrow to the American side. And you thought the Cold War was over? Nope, nyet.
Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Jeremy Irons, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Ciaran Hinds, Joely Richardson
Director: Francis Lawrence
Rating: * * * *