Oscar® winner Charlize Theron explodes into summer in Atomic Blonde, a breakneck action-thriller that follows MI6’s most lethal assassin through a ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors.
The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Theron) is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission. Sent alone into Berlin to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies.
A blistering blend of sleek action, gritty sexuality and dazzling style, Atomic Blonde is directed by David Leitch (John Wick, upcoming Deadpool 2). Also starring John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Eddie Marsan, Sofia Boutella and Toby Jones, the film is based on the Oni Press graphic novel series “The Coldest City,” by Antony Johnston & illustrator Sam Hart. Kurt Johnstad (300) wrote the screenplay.
What We Thought:
Atomic Blonde isn’t the balls to the walls action flick I was expecting, but it’s still a solid thriller. The trailers made it seem like a kick ass action movie, but it’s more John le Carré than John Wick. That may sound like a negative, but I did like the movie. I just had different expectations because of the trailers.
Charlize Theron plays an MI6 agent sent to Berlin to recover a spy list through the help of James McAvoy. The film is set in Berlin during the collapse of the Berlin Wall. It’s an espionage film with double-crossing and people not being who you think they are. Think of it as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy with some Jason Bourne action sequences.
People will be talking about the long take action sequence in the hallway and that’s fine. What stands out to me though is the style of the film. It’s sexy which shouldn’t be surprising because Theron is gorgeous in the first place. Add in her wardrobe and boots and a certain scene with Sofia Boutella and yeah, the movie is pretty hot.
Plus it has a killer soundtrack that’s mixed with action. Take the direction and use of music in Trainspotting and make it a spy thriller and that’s what Atomic Blonde is. It uses music just as great as any Danny Boyle film. Since it’s based in 1989, it uses 80s music especially the songs you expect to be hits in Germany, 99 Luftballons, Der Kommissar and 80s staples like George Michael, ‘Til Tuesday and more. It’s pure genius to shoot an action scene opposite “Father Figure”.
What I like most about the film, and genuinely respect, is that Charlize Theron’s character (and probably herself) takes an ass whoopin’ throughout the movie. Theron has played some tough characters before, but a secret agent would be going against some tough dudes that would do some damage to her. And boy do they! She takes a beating and you actually see her icing her body and having bruises. That’s smart and realistic. There’s also the long take scene where you see characters pausing to catch their breath. That’s great. It shows they are human and not superheroes. Real people would be gasping for breath after falling down stairs or being put through a wall. Again, that’s smart filmmaking.
Atomic Blonde is a spy thriller and not an action movie like The Raid: Redemption which I thought it would be. And that’s fine because it’s still a good movie. There are some twists and turns that you should see coming, but the very end is a good surprise. Charlize Theron is one of the best in the biz and you can never go wrong with James McAvoy, John Goodman and Toby Jones. It should do well at the box office and I expect it to become a franchise like the John Wick movies.
Cast & Crew:
- Charlize Theron
- James McAvoy
- John Goodman
- Til Schweiger
- Eddie Marsan
- Sofia Boutella
- Toby Jones
Recommended If You Like:
- John Wick
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
- Spy Thrillers