Atomic Blonde Movie Review
Director: David Leitch
Charlize Theron: Lorraine Broughton
James McAvoy: David Percival
Eddie Marsan: Spyglass
John Goodman: Emmett Kurzfeld
Toby Jones: Eric Gray
James Faulkner: Chief ‘C’
Roland Møller: Aleksander Bremovych
Sofia Boutella: Delphine Lasalle
Bill Skarsgård: Merkel
Sam Hargrave: James Gasciogne
Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson: Yuri Bakhtin
Based on the Oni Press graphic novel series “The Coldest City,” Atomic Blonde debuts as the #4 movie in domestic markets with a strong showing earning $18.5 million in its first three days and pitted against other major motion pictures such as WWII drama “Dunkirk,” the animated family flick “Emoji,” and comedy “Girl’s Trip.”
Theron takes up the mantle Lorraine Broughton, an undercover MI6 agent sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents. But the question is, who does the enigmatic Broughton truly work for? In the end, herself.
Set in 1989 amidst political unrest in Berlin, Broughton infiltrates the communist stronghold and forms a reluctant alliance with David Percival played by James McAvoy who has been in the weeds for too long and has long since strayed from the grey line. With contact made, Broughton begins to unravel the multitude of deceptions and fights for survival on the way to the truth in a country on the verge of total social and political collapse.
Atomic Blonde is an action-packed thriller delivered through a series of debriefings and flashbacks.
McAvoy’s skill and presence adds to his already impressive resume of hit films as he delivers yet another strong performance straight away from his last enthralling performance in the psychological thriller “Split.”
The real success of the movie rests squarely on Theron’s shoulders. Charlize brings a rare and unique set of attributes as an actress to the genre in which the star is as adept in moments of dialog and stillness while delivering powerful action packed scenes that holds the audience totally captive. Theron portrays Broughton as a cold, stylish assassin with moments of genuine empathy and humanity that allows the audience to embrace the complexity and layers of the character.
The visual depiction is saturated with an absolute 80’s hit soundtrack ranging from George Michael’s “Father Figure,” to re-envisioned mixes classic tracks “99 Red Balloons” and “Blue Monday.” Events in the movie avoid the trappings of being convoluted and mired in a vain attempts at being too clever yet provides plenty of background and material to not only sustain 115 minutes in length but numerous future sequels.
The technical execution of the action sequences should be as celebrated as Theron herself. From the onset of the first fight scene, the cinematography coupled with the unique and authentic fighting technique is more than enough to make you hold your breath. The pinnacle moment for the choreographic brilliance lies in one of the final fight sequences in which the fight is so brutal and absolutely compelling, Theron and her enemy are soaked in their own blood, exhausted, and barely even able to stand. Make no mistake, there are no makeup smudges, preening poses, and mugging for the camera. Theron’s commitment to the strength of her character bolsters Atomic Blonde into the same league as other major espionage movies. The difference here is Blonde is more emotionally captivating than the Bourne films, more intelligent than John Wick, and is the female’s answer to the decades long male dominated 007.
9.5 / 10
Final Thoughts: After as I arrived for dinner, I ordered up a Stoli on the rocks and began thinking about what I was going to wear to tea with the queen.