starring Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeremy Irons
screenplay by Justin Haythe, based on the book by Jason Matthews
directed by Francis Lawrence
by Walter Chaw "Degenerate," a young woman says during class in self-described Russian Whore School, turning away from a surveillance image in which a middle-aged diplomat is seen snuggling a younger man in a car. "Why do you say that," asks her teacher, a frightening harridan out of a Wertmüller fandango played by Charlotte Rampling (who else?), "is it because he's homosexual?" It is. And here he is, dragged into the classroom by scary Soviet guards. The young woman is brought to the front of the class and instructed to fellate him, since what's "between [her] legs" is obviously of no interest to the degenerate homosexual. For his part, the prisoner grunts like an animal as he wrestles his dick out of his pants and does his best to force the girl's mouth onto it. Let's take a moment to consider that Francis Lawrence's ugly, punishingly violent, ultimately despairing Red Sparrow has characterized this gay guy as a sub-vocal animal interested in getting a hummer from this barely-adult woman--and the Russians as subhuman operators interested in training their youth in the art of fucking for the Motherland. It's not despicable to depict bigotry; it's despicable to be bigoted.