Atomic Blonde is a relentlessly pushy film. Director David Leitch tries really hard to adapt the comic The Coldest City and push Charlize Theron to her utmost limits. Out of the five or so action sequences, two live up to the expectation while the others rely on slow motion or poorly choreographed fist fights. Theron rocks and is forever in the pantheon of badassery, so there is no need to overdo it. However, overdoing it is quite the motto throughout the film.
The film is set near the end of the Cold War with MI6 secret agent Lorraine Broughton (Theron) heading to Berlin to collaborate with another agent (James McAvoy) in retrieving a secret list. The fault of the story is never in the characters, and seldomly in the action, but in the oftentimes confusing plot. Atomic Blonde wraps itself around the action sequences, usually leaving very little room left for explanations. The supporting cast is perfect in John Goodman's CIA Emmett Kurzfeld and Sofia Boutella's French agent Delphine Lasalle, but both fall into the black hole of being underused. It eventually becomes a match between Theron and McAvoy at who can drink more alcohol and act best while doing it. It's Theron by a longshot.
|Charlize Theron (center) in "Atomic Blonde"; Courtesy of Focus Features|
Coming from the co-director of John Wick, more was expected in terms of story. Acting and the occasional fight scene helped the film not get too tangled up in the classic whodunnit set-up, and the soundtrack oozes awesomeness. An ultraviolent good time for people who don't want to overthink it at the movies.
Good Qualities: Soundtrack, Acting, Fight Scenes
Bad Qualities: Story was very messy
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