|Scene from Red Sparrow|
In spite of an ongoing role in the X-Men franchise, the past few years have marked the start of a new phase in Jennifer Lawrence's career. It started with mother!, which saw her take on challenging material with a performance that was emotionally and physically draining. What could've been an anomaly for her career has blossomed further into a niche darkness with director Francis Lawrence's Red Sparrow: a film that sees her pushing herself further than ever before. While the Lawrences may best be known for The Hunger Games franchise, their take on Russian spies veers more towards an adult tone in which sexuality is used as currency, and the violence is sure to make some cringe. Jennifer Lawrence is officially in her edgy period, of which is meant to deconstruct her good girl image in favor of something more bold and abrasive (something rare for a four-time Oscar nominee). In a sense, it's the reason that Red Sparrow works, if just as a study of where she'll go for a role. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the rest of the film.