Another quick review today. My head’s starting to pound.
Seeing trailers for this film, I was somewhat intrigued by the premise, though worried about the execution of a film so… blatantly unoriginal as that of a spy/espionage/action sort. With the mood the trailers set, I figured Jennifer Lawrence’s character would be more volatile with her ambitions and motivations; her only wish was stated near the very beginning.
In this sense, the film feels a little too straightforward, and could have made itself more like that of Allied, where one of the focal characters’ intentions isn’t so clear-cut. Lawrence’s character is interesting enough as a caged animal willing to do anything for survival, though her “Soul” makes her rebellious against Russia’s nationalistic precedent. A rather optimistic portrayal of empathy is prevalent throughout the film, which is, again, as basic as one can get.
More than anything, unfortunately, the film’s logic is one that bears some criticism for its loose holes. Many times throughout it is shown that Russian spies keep tabs on Lawrence’s character, and even disposes of a “friend”(?) of hers to establish that they see and hear everything. So… how does she get away with half the shit she does, especially considering said shit seems detrimental to Russia? Cases of convenience are scattered throughout that warp the viewer out of the course of consciousness. There’s much more of this in later portions of the film—the film unravels as it goes along.
Yet I was entertained throughout, and the mood was appropriately dark and sinister. I felt the heroism of Lawrence’s character proved to be enough of a strength to keep her interesting and worthy of empathy throughout despite the relative artificiality. A subtle victory at the end over a man who held her by her heart nearly all her life is sure to give more than a few some raised fists. Also noteworthy: I could definitely see this being passed around as a feminist film, but I won’t get into that now.
Final Score: 5.5/10
The rating for all other films can be found at Letterboxd.
For more, check out the March of the Movies Archive!