The trend of strong women taking over the 2017 Summer Movie Season continues in the new film Atomic Blonde starring Charlize Theron and directed by David Leitch. Many have compared this film to a female version of John Wick with the South African beauty taking out any thug in her path to achieve her mission. Sure there are plenty of bullets and headshots in this Rated-R action flick, but that is where the similarities stop. For one thing, the film takes place in Berlin in the days leading up to and after the fall of the Berlin Wall dividing East and West Germany. The movie is full of fisticuffs, but Atomic Blonde has a big mystery element throughout the film as the wall begins to fall and undercover agents from all sides of the world begin to scramble.
Based on the graphic novel series The Coldest City, Theron plays the sly and sexy MI6 undercover agent Lorraine in Atomic Blonde. She has been sent to East Berlin to retrieve sensitive information that could put the lives of many agents in danger. Since the film takes place in 1989, the audience is treated to a slew 1980’s music that is full of New Wave bands who provide the soundtrack to many of Atomic Blonde‘s wild action scenes that are quite spectacular and stylish. Lorraine eliminates her enemies with her fists, ropes, guns and a corkscrew that just happened to be laying around. The movie definitely has some intense moments that will make you cringe, but will still make you say “awesome” at the same time.
Along the way Lorraine meets some other interesting characters including a rogue British agent played by the always reliable James McAvoy and a French spy played by rising star Sophia Boutella. The Algerian actress may have a limited role in the movie, but Boutella manages to shine bright just like she did in Star Trek Beyond and the crummy The Mummy remake where she was one of the few positive aspects of that film. Atomic Blonde could have easily just been a mindless action vehicle for Theron with blood, gunshots and sexy babes, but the actors involve make the material better than it should be when the mysterious plot twists and turns sometimes aren’t that shocking.
The only issue with Atomic Blonde would be its pace and running time. The action is so hardcore at times during the film that when it stops to explain the mystery of Atomic Blonde you feel like you’re coming to a grinding halt. It’s almost like being on an insane roller coaster that hits the brakes right before the station and you’re stuck waiting to get off the train wishing you could go for another thrilling ride. Still the scenes are so well done in Atomic Blonde that it’s easy to deal with the 20 minutes of running time that really didn’t need to be included in the final product. It also helps that Charlize Theron chews up every scene she’s in during Atomic Blonde showing audiences that she is the total package in terms of actresses in Hollywood.
Overall, I give Atomic Blonde 3 out of 4 stars.
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