Jennifer Lawrence as Dominika Egorova and Joel Edgerton as Nate Nash in Red Sparrow.

Red Sparrow is the Black Widow-type story you’d get if it were made by DC or Sony Entertainment. In other words, it is a hot mess from beginning to start.

Rating 2/5

Set in Russia, Dominika (Jennifer Lawrence) is a prima ballerina who is forced to change her career path after an injury that leads to her joining “Sparrow School”, a Russian intelligence service, where she is trained to use her body as a weapon.

Jennifer Lawrence has been applauded for most of her roles and has won four Academy Awards for acting, but in this film, it’s clear she was there just to get a pay cheque.

In Red Sparrow, she delivers lines as if she had been to just one acting class before being thrown into a movie. Every line in this film is cringeworthy and don’t get me started on the horrible Russian accent. Lawrence makes Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch’s (Elizabeth Olsen) Russian accents in Avengers: Age of Ultron sound like thoroughbred Russians.

The script is also truly egregious, along with the plot point choices. For instance, Lawrence’s character goes from being a ballerina to a murdering spy in all of four months. How does that even make sense?

Director Francis Lawrence is inept when it comes to storytelling and the use of sex as part of the story.

In the film, he uses rape and sex scenes that do not add any value to the story or act as pointers that give depth to the characters. For the most part, they feel out of place and unnecessary. It really felt as if someone asked a teenager to write the script, because various plot points don’t make sense. Character motivations are all over the place and the film lacks basic structure.

Red Sparrow’s pacing is also horrendous. I watched it one morning and, halfway through, was so bored that yawns kept on appearing. This should not be happening in a suspense thriller, with A-list calibre actors.

While the film is aesthetically appealing, it seems like an empty shell. It really feels like Black Widow, with a screenwriter and director who have no idea what they are doing.

Red Sparrow gives the impression that Jennifer Lawrence needs to take a break to recharge her batteries.

This film seems to suggest that her love for acting has diminished.