I never thought I would enjoy a movie that’s essentially about a woman beating a whole bunch of men to death quite so much. Set in Berlin in 1989, Atomic Blonde is an action thriller that proves a woman can quite deftly step into James Bond’s shoes. There’s big 80’s hits from Queen, Depeche Mode and Goldfinger, and some fantastically long action scenes.
If that all sounds good then Atomic Blonde is the movie for you.
The aforementioned fantastically long action scenes are a hallmark of Atomic Blonde, and they’re pretty great – you can see the mechanics of the fight a lot more than in films where the action is hidden behind shaky cam and imaginative angles. The reason they could do this is because Charlize Theron does all her own stunts – no need for body doubles here. She even cracked two teeth during the brutal training for the fight scenes. Atomic Blonde’s Director David Leitch was Brad Pitt’s stunt double in Mr. and Mrs. Smith and he knows how to direct one hell of an action film that packs in plenty of hand-to-hand combat, assassination attempts, and a wicked climactic car chase.
In Atomic Blonde Charlize Theron plays ice-cold MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton, sent out on a mission in Berlin just before the fall of the wall. The film is based on the comic book series ‘The Coldest City’ by Antony Johnston and Sam Hart and follows a convoluted and sometimes confusing plot. Honestly, that doesn’t really matter though because the rest of Atomic Blonde is so darn good.
The visuals are strikingly 80’s, the characters are intensely focussed. I was particularly taken with the refreshing setting of urban, 80’s Berlin. It was a welcome break from a seemingly endless stream of movies set in New York. Added to the mix a host of wonderful actors including Lorraine’s fellow agent David Percival (James McAvoy), French agent Delphine (Sofia Boutella), her MI6 superior Eric Gray (Toby Jones) and a CIA liaison (John Goodman) and you’ve got one hell of an engaging film.
If you like Charlize Theron, you will love Atomic Blonde. ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ confirmed she’s a natural warrior. She is 100% in that element in Atomic Blonde. Step aside, James Bond, there’s a woman in town.