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Drama - Spies

Red Sparrow (2018)

Duration2h 20m
RatingsUK: 18, USA: R, Denmark: 15 
Source of storyA book of the same name by Jason Matthews, apparently using his experience as a real CIA man.
DirectorFrancis Lawrence
Writers/ScriptJustin Haythe
StarringJennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, Ciarán Hinds, Joely Richardson, Bill Camp, Jeremy Irons,  
RatingsIMDb: 6.6 by 177k people.  Rotten Tomatoes: 45% by 283 reviewers. Review2view: 5/10.

 Elevator Pitch: Beautiful ex-ballerina Dominika Egorova goes to work for her uncle who is Deputy-Director of the SRV (Russian Secret Service). She is trained as a “sparrow”, one who uses sex to fulfil the service’s requirements, and is sent to Budapest where she is give the task of getting close to a CIA man, Nate Nash.  He quickly determines who she is and starts to work on her to become an agent. Meanwhile the Russians are desperate to find a mole, known to the Americans as “Marble”, and the Americans are desperate to find out the identity of a mole in their government known to the Russians as “Swan”. When Swan’s identity is revealed Dominika is blamed, and is recalled to Moscow and interrogated, but survives, but will she and Nate survive the SRV assassins.

Content: There is a lot of sex, some of it with “thrusting” and a rape, all including both male and female nudity. Nate almost meets with his agent in Moscow, but is forced to create a diversion. Dominika is involved in the garrotting of a mafia boss. She undergoes the sparrow training which is extensive, she meets with Nate Nash while swimming, they dine out. Nate meets with his superiors in a big office. Dominika is tortured but does not admit working for the Americans. Swan meets with her Russian handlers but is killed by a truck.

A View: I can’t help relating this film to the book, which I have read. The adverse reviews found the climax confusing, which does not surprise me since it made no sense at all. The film makers had chosen to concentrate on the sexy aspects of the plot while leaving the machinations of the CIA and the SRV more or less as an afterthought. The result is a thriller which lacks thrills, because we have no ides what is happening. 

Here are three much more exciting real spy movies: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Eye in the Sky, Zero Dark Thirty

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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