Movie Reviews

Published on July 27th, 2017 | by Angele Colageo


Atomic Blonde

The beginning of the end of the Cold War,1989. East and West Germany still separated by more than just a wall. An MI6 agent sent to retrieve a knock list two weeks prior has been killed and the list is missing. It contains information on every agent for each agency who have representation in Berlin. MI6 sends in Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron), specialist in intelligence collection and hand to hand combat. She would have to work with the section chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to retrieve the list before it falls into the hands of the competition.

Lorraine’s fight scenes, carefully choreographed to deliver efficiency in movement where not one strike is wasted. The action sequences truly drives the pace of the storyline. one would think that this is just the average action film but it’s not. This film’s storyline has very good pacing although there are points of slight foreshadowing, but it keeps one guessing about peoples loyalties even after it is established…or is it?

Charlize plays Lorraine with the coolness on par with 007, but with a realistic enemy. McAvoy’s Percival is the agent that has spent so much time in Berlin where he has become entrenched in the role of a black-market trader so familiar with the east/west that he believes he knows how to run the game. He toggles back and forth from East to West like an eel slithering through the hands of fishermen.

We also see a few familiar faces playing key appointments in the spy game. Toby Jones as Eric Gray, Lorraine’s boss and John Goodman as Emmet Kurzfeld, the CIA attaché to this mission with MI6. Sofia Boutella, who we have seen in Kingsman and The Mummy plays Delphine Lasalle, the fledgling agent from France documenting Lorraine’s every move.  

The film is set to the steady rhythm of 80’s electronic New Wave.  The soundtrack in this movie does not function solely as accompaniment. Each  scene is accentuated by songs carefully curated to enhance each moment as a supporting character.

Based on Antony Johnston’s 2012 Graphic Novel “The Coldest City” Director David Leitch (John Wick & Deadpool 2 ) gives us an ass kicking female protagonist that is clever, darkly witty and can take on pretty much anything that comes her way. The stunts are filmed with an experienced fluidity and the movements are crisp, definitely a benefit from Leitch’s stunt expertise.

So far, the summer blockbuster season can be named the point where female action heroes can hold the attention of the viewer, no longer seen as the frail victim or second fiddle to the man. She can take care of business and put the hurt on anyone that comes at her as well as share with the audience that she has emotional depth.

My attention was captured from the first shot to the ending credits.

4.5 out of 5


Second Review By Sasha Glenn

No substance required. Produced by and starring Charlize Theron, “Atomic Blonde” won’t disappoint her thrill-seeking fans. The plot moves so fast it feels like you miss something, but really there wasn’t much there aside from what could be seen on the surface. This might sound like a bad thing, but it’s quite the opposite.

Refreshingly simple, “Atomic Blonde” holds its own as a pure action film. The fashion is edgy and seductive, without looking like it’s trying too hard. The soundtrack is the same.

Almost the entirety of the film is made up of fight scenes, but they are beautifully choreographed. In between the explosive moments of violence, the camera angles and scene transitions create an almost surreal, cerebral viewing experience.

Set in 1989, just before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Theron plays a top level M16 agent named Lorraine Broughton. The meaning of all that may be clearer to those who have read the novel which the film is based on, “The Coldest City,” by Antony Johnston. Regardless, Broughton is sent on a deadly mission to retrieve a list that could expose British agents. Amidst all the chaos, that’s pretty much the gist.

Also worth mentioning, is the steamy and very authentic sex scene between Broughton and a French female agent, Delphine Lasalle (Sofia Boutella). The interplay between the two agents throughout the film flirts with the idea of serious character development. But, again, substance is just not really needed for this to be great either.

Overall the cast is not bad, but not outstanding either. Granted it’s difficult to form much of an opinion without more character development. The life of a spy would probably be too chaotic to follow clearly in reality anyway.

I give “Atomic Blonde” 3.5 out of 5 stars.


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