Thursday, March 01, 2018


This Bird Is Stuffed With Cliches,
But Has Some Tasty Moments...

1.5 stars

Mini Review:

Jennifer Lawrence fans will murder me, but the film is so filled with cliches, the clever revenge plot is drowned by audience sighs. And the Russian Seduction School is so laughable you wish they had borrowed some style from Atomic Blonde. The trailer is chilling, but the film is two hours and twenty minutes long and more of a yawn fest because you figure out who the mole is an hour into the film...

Main Review:

They Haz Accents. Because, Rashhiya. 

Yes, the Wakandans speak weird English, but why are all Russians speaking that heavily accented English? 

Once you get over that, you swallow your disbelief and watch a rather well-built Jennifer Lawrence pretend to be a prima ballerina of nothing less than the Bolshoi Ballet! Nothing waif like about her, not even the name: Dominika Egorova. Even Natalie Portman and her messed up head and Mila Kunis manage to look ethereal and fragile in Black Swan. 

Jennifer Lawrence has this entitled expression through the film which does not make us feel an ounce of empathy for her. She comes across as manipulative and mean. So much has been written about the nudity in this movie, one looks at the body dispassionately, almost as if she were a cartoon/ video game female on screen. Again, her figure at the swimming pool and her body when she seduces the Russian minister don't match at all. And her walk... her walk! If ham-handed can be described as a walk, hers would be it! There is no dancer-like fluidity about anything she does.

Story Is More Entangled Than Noodles. Stick to Borscht.

The story is needlessly complicated. Of all people Ciaran Hinds and Jeremy Irons play Russian generals who want another general dead. They use Vanya, the creepy uncle to Dominika, to get the job done. Dominika is trapped into helping Uncle Vanya, and then sent off to Sparrow school where poor matron (Charlotte Rampling) has to say silly things like, 'Take off your clothes. Your loyalty is to the state. Your body belongs to the state.'

So Dominika is taught to seduce by finding out the weakest spot and get whatever the state needs. Didn't spy movies just use blackmail for that? The Sparrow school seems like such a waste of time because there's something else driving Dominika. Revenge. She has an invalid mother who needs care, and Vanya needs to feel that he has Dominika cornered. Of course there are Americans, the spy with a heart of gold Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton) and a drunk female 'chief of staff' Mary Louise Parker, the CIA bosses who tell Nate to play by the rule. It's all so cliched, you yawn and yawn and yawn even when Dominika seduces Nate it is predictable. 

The revenge thread is the only thing worth the time, but it is covered with so much slime of other stuff, you check your messages, you step out for coffee and because you pay attention to the dialogue and where the movie is being filmed, you figure out long before the Russians do as to who the mole is. The needless drama about mole-exchange is predictable too.

So what is interesting in the movie? 

The torture guy Matorin. Matorin is played with a goosebump inducing precision by the German actor Sebastian Hulk. We saw him in Inglouris Basterds and Hitmen: Agent 47. His torture of Nate nash with Jennifer Lawrence and the knife fight after is brilliantly choreographed. Although the torture is shown rather explicitly in the film, it is perhaps the only thing that hollows your stomach. 

Otherwise, even a nude Jennifer Lawrence cannot save this boring film whose goose... I mean sparrow was cooked by all the cliches.

No comments: