Movie Review: Atomic Blonde (2017)

Directed by David Leitch, half of the duo behind John Wick, in his solo directorial debut, Atomic Blonde is a 2017 action/spy thriller based on the graphic novel The Coldest City, from Oni Press. Charlize Theron is Lorraine Broughton, a British Secret Service agent send to Berlin to recover a list of all known double agents currently working in the Soviet Union. Under the command of her superior at MI6, Eric Gray (Toby Jones) and CIA Agent Emmett Kurzfield (John Goodman), Lorraine must work with Berlin agent David Percival (James McAvoy) just before the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

+ both Theron and McAvoy are fantastic, as the two main leads. Theron has that attraction (both physically, of course, but also in regards to her personality) that it was genuinely fun to watch her snark play off McAvoy’s slightly more unstable character. McAvoy as Percival, having been without a handler for an extended period, was either constantly drunk, high, or both – or just pretending to be, but either way it made for fantastic viewing
+ one extended action scene in the middle of the film is the highlight, and really shows the gritty, “realistic” style of modern action films. It was a single take (or made to look as such) with extended hand to hand brawls or shootouts and it was easily the highlight of the movie
+ the soundtrack is great, with lots of 80s pop classics, as well as more modern covers of these songs
+ damn Sofia Boutella is smoking hot, especially in a certain passionate scene involving her character Delphine Lasalle and Theron’s Broughton

– various twists and turns keep things interested for the most part, but the biggest twist however (I obviously won’t spoil here) seemed so obvious to me that when it was treated as a big reveal I was certain I was psychic. Maybe I have just seen too many of these spy films to be surprised any more
– there was not much in terms of uniqueness on display. It’s a Cold War Spy Thriller, but it just so happens to have a female lead. If that’s all your after then you’ll be sated, but I wanted something a bit more

> James Faulkner, Game of Thrones‘ recently crispy Randyll Tarly, has a minor role as the Chief of MI6. His role was very limited, but I still got a kick out of seeing him
> I still maintain that Boutella should have been Elektra in the Dardevil Netflix series

Should you see this film: Despite the great cast and good acting, I am sad to say that nothing about this movie (bar that one action scene) thrilled me at all. Again despite the director, this was far less “Jane Wick” and far more “The Woman from U.N.C.L.E.”, which is not really a bad thing, but just not what I wanted to see.


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