Angelina Jolie‘s Evelyn Salt was trained as a child in a tough Russian Academy for lethal super-spies also…no? And then she went on to become a kind of double-agent? Red Sparrow (20th Century Fox, 3.2.18) is obviously a kind of retread. Director Francis Lawrence, the director of not one or two but three Hunger Games movies, is everyone’s idea of a hack, a journeyman, a well-paid stooge. In short, the perfect guy to helm Red Sparrow. Jennifer Lawrence looks either miserable or emotionally shut down or a combination of the two. I can’t wait to suffer through this thing.
“Drafted against her will to become a ‘Sparrow,’ a trained seductress in the service of Russian intelligence, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a first-tour CIA officer who handles the CIA’s most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers, trained in their respective spy schools, collide in a charged atmosphere of tradecraft, deception, and, inevitably, a forbidden spiral of carnal attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America’s most valuable mole in Moscow.” — from Amazon summary of Jason Matthews ‘Red Sparrow’ trilogy.
The threat is understood, I trust? If Red Sparrow does well at the box-office, we’re going to be punished with two more.
Why is Lawrence even making a film like Red Sparrow? With a reported net worth between $75 and $130 million, it’s not as if she needs the money. So why star in what is clearly a piece of disposable glossy crap? Did her agent and accountant get together and convince her that in today’s economy her portfolio will be looked down upon unless she’s amassed $500 million or, better yet, a billion? Or that…what, if she doesn’t star in a big-studio action piece every two or three years her fan base will evaporate and in less than a decade she’ll become a Kate Mara-level actress?