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Red Sparrow (2018)

Red Sparrow (2018)

This movie appeared like it would be a cross between Atomic Blonde (2017) and Black Swan (2010).  I always find it interesting how after such a unique film like Atomic Blonde is released, shortly after we get a copycat movie (I will talk more about this concept in a post in the near future).

I have gotten fed up with actors and actresses feeling the need to be politicians.  As if their political opinions matter.  Please just do what you do best and stick to filmmaking.  It gets a little old when they stir up the negativity.

All politics aside, Jennifer Lawrence is a talented actress.  I feel that she proved her ability in her role in Silver Linings Playbook (2012).  She has a tendency to make insanely outrageous statements that are about as inappropriate as some of the things that come out of President Donald Trump’s mouth.  This has started to taint my view of Lawrence as an actress.  If she was a little more careful with her words publicly, I would respect her more.

Prior to seeing this movie, I went to the theater with an open mind.  Instead of having a biased and negative opinion before even seeing the film, I thought I would let Jennifer Lawrence’s acting do the talking and drown out the crazy things that she says publicly.

Red Sparrow is about a damaged Russian ballerina who finds herself training to be a “Sparrow”, a Special Agent of sorts for the Russian government.  She is tasked with getting information from the American C.I.A. and becomes entangled between both governments working against each other.

The movie was directed by Francis Lawrence and the noteworthy cast includes Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Shoenaerts, Jeremy Irons, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, Ciaran Hinds, Joely Richardson, Douglas Hodge, Bill Camp, Sakina Jaffrey, and Thekla Reuten.

The film did in fact, feel like a cross between Atomic Blonde and Black Swan.  However, there was much less action than Atomic Blonde and far more drama.  It has the surprising sexual darkness of Black Swan, only much more magnified.  The graphic violence in the movie is a lot more twisted and vicious than Atomic Blonde.

I did not think that Jennifer Lawrence was going to be able to pull off a Russian accent.  I was worried that this would really take away from the movie.  For the most part, the accent was OK though.  Towards the end of the film, it started going in and out, but overall was believable.  Her performance was quite gritty.  There were some surprisingly twisted nude scenes.  It definitely has the shock value.

Edgerton’s character was likable, but he was a little underused.  His character was not quite developed enough.  That was acceptable, because it really is Jennifer Lawrence’s movie.  However, I feel like this did take away from the film.  The chemistry between the male lead and female lead was just not there.

I did feel like Red Sparrow was trying really hard to be like Atomic Blonde.  All the way down to platinum blonde hair and Stoli vodka.  Charlize Theron was a much bigger badass in Atomic Blonde than Jennifer Lawrence was Red Sparrow.  Atomic Blonde was a lot more fun and exciting.  The dark subject matter in Red Sparrow was not broken up with any humor or much fun.  I feel that took away from the overall quality of movie because it makes the 2 hours and 19 minutes runtime feel like that amount of time.  They did not cut the tension and therefore it felt like it was trying too hard to be too dark.

This is a shadowy spy thriller that pulls no punches.  It is intentionally and methodically puzzling.  The film is a little rough around the edges, but overall is well-made and well-acted.

I rate this movie a 7 on a scale of 1-10.


If you liked this film then you might also enjoy:


Atomic Blonde (2017)

Salt (2010)

Black Swan (2010)

Casino Royale (2006)

Skyfall (2012)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Mission: Impossible (1996)

Mission: Impossible III (2006)

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)


Happy Birthday to Mary-Louise Parker

Mary-Louise Parker

Happy Birthday to Mary-Louise Parker!  The talented actress turns 49 years old today.

Red 2 Zeta Jones Parker Willis

Parker has become more popular on the big screen in recent years thanks mostly to Red (2010).  She currently has 2 films out in theatres: Red 2 (2013), and R.I.P.D. (2013).

R.I.P.D. Parker

R.I.P.D. (2013)

R.I.P.D. Poster

R.I.P.D. (2013)

To me, this film appeared like it would have a lot of similarities to Men in Black (1997).  Instead of a police force that protects the earth from aliens, R.I.P.D. has a police force that protects the earth from the dead.  The dead people in R.I.P.D. wear human body suits and hide out among the living, sort of like the aliens in MIB.  Interestingly enough, the dead people in R.I.P.D. and the aliens in MIB are monsters that appear very much alike.  The futuristic guns in each film look like they are all part of the same family.  Each movie has old grumpy veterans of the force that are tasked with training the new recruit.  Hollywood continues to recycle the same ideas.  They twist them around a bit and feed them back to us again on the silver screen.

R.I.P.D. Bridges Reynolds

R.I.P.D. is a buddy-cop comedy with a twist.  Instead of simply just trying to protect and serve, Roy (Jeff Bridges) and Nick (Ryan Reynolds) are deceased cops who try to protect the living from the dead as part of the Rest in Peace Department.  After 15 years on the force, Boston cop Nick is tragically murdered in the line of duty.  Instead of going to heaven, he gets stopped along the way and recruited to become a member of the R.I.P.D.  He gets paired with Roy, an R.I.P.D. veteran.  Roy shows Nick the ropes, but Nick is only interested in investigating his own murder.

R.I.P.D. Disguises

The film is directed by Robert Schwentke and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, Stephanie Szostak, Marisa Miller, James Hong, Devin Ratray, and Robert Knepper.

Even with the thought of basically already seeing this movie 3 times before, I expected it to be funnier than it actually was.  Reynolds humor is usually pretty sarcastically witty.  Pairing him with Bridges in a cowboy-like character, I thought that I might die laughing.  This was not the case however.  There was a touch of cleverness that caused a little bit of deserved laughter, but the comedy was mostly just not there.

R.I.P.D. Reynolds Parker Bridges

All of the actors were likable, but the film was desperately lacking originality.  The story was highly predictable and very convenient.  I felt like there was not enough of a back story to the Rest in Peace Department itself and why the dead were trying to invade the earth.  It was hardly explained why the department existed and why the dead were able to come back to earth.  There were just tons of holes in the storyline that were completely overlooked by the characters.  Apparently the viewers were also supposed to overlook these flaws and just go with it.  I did that, but it made the film less enjoyable.

R.I.P.D. Ratray

Overall, you can expect a few laughs and a bit of entertainment.  It’s also pretty funny and sad to see what Buzz (Devin Ratray) from Home Alone (1990) has become.

I rate this movie a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

Red 2 (2013)

Red 2 Poster 2

Red 2 (2013)

After how awesome Red (2010) was, I thought for sure that Red 2 could never live up to its predecessor.

Red 2 Parker Willis Malkovich explosion

Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is a retired CIA agent who cannot seem to stay retired from mayhem. In this sequel to Red (2010), Moses bands together with a group of friends who also happen to be misfit murderers, in order to try to track down a missing nuke.

The film was directed by Dean Parisot and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Byung-hun Lee, Neal McDonough, David Thewlis, Tim Pigott Smith, and Brian Cox.

Red 2 Malkovich Willis Parker

In Red (2010) Malkovich completely stole the show.  He was quirky and hilarious.  He was the reason why the movie was so funny and probably the biggest contributor to its success.  I assumed that I was in for a disappointment when I walked into Red 2.  How could they possibly top the original?  I think that I was not alone with this question because Red 2 did not do as well in theatres as it should have over the weekend.

Rarely does a sequel ever top the original and rarely is a sequel ever as good as the original.  Well folks, I am here to tell you that Red 2 is almost as good as the original, if not as good.  The acting was excellent, the action was thrilling, and the movie was hysterical.

Red 2 Malkovich

I’m not sure how they pulled it off, but John Malkovich was just as funny in Red 2 as he was in Red.  He might have even been funnier.

Zeta-Jones, Hopkins, and McDonough were all nice additions to the already spectacular cast.

Red 2 Willis Malkovich

The chemistry between Willis and Parker was priceless.  There is a lot more humor between the duo now that their characters are an established couple.

The film was fast-paced and everything flowed nicely.  It was all quick and to the point with never a dull moment.  It might just be the action/comedy of the year.

Red 2 Mirren Sniper

If you thought that Red was great, do yourself a favor and go out and see Red 2.  As sequels go, this one does not disappoint.

I rate this movie a 9 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

If you liked Red 2, then you will probably enjoy:

2 Guns (2013)

Trailer for Red 2 (2013)

Red 2 Poster 2

Red 2 (2013) (Click on the title for my full review.)

Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is a retired CIA agent who cannot seem to stay retired from mayhem.  In this sequel to Red (2010), Moses bands together with a group of friends who also happen to be misfit murderers, in order to try to track down a missing nuke.

The film is directed by Dean Parisot and the rest of the notable cast includes John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Neal McDonough, and Byung-hun Lee.

If Red 2 is half as good as Red, it will be worth seeing.  It should be full of laughs and plenty of good action.

The film is set to release on 7/19/13.

Trailer for R.I.P.D. (2013)

R.I.P.D. Poster

R.I.P.D. (2013) (Click on the title for my full review.)


R.I.P.D. looks like a cross between Beetlejuice (1988) and Men in Black (1997).

The movie is directed by Robert Schwentke and stars Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, Robert Knepper, James Hong, Mike O’Malley, Stephanie Szostak, Devin Ratray, Larry Joe Campbell, Marisa Miller, Josh Sussman, Alexandra East, and Tobias Segal.

This action comedy looks like it will be right up my alley.

The film is set to release on 7/19/13.