Atomic Blonde is the latest film from director David Leitch, who co-directed the 2014 film, John Wick. It’s no surprise that in terms of action, this film shares a lot of similarities. The main protagonist is a total badass, the enemies are usually killed with a gun, and the stunts are ridiculously awesome. Plus, this film has an amazing soundtrack. We’ve had quite a few movies this year that use music very well, and this is no exception.
Charlize Theron stars as Lorraine Broughton, an MI6 agent during the Cold War who is sent to Berlin to investigate the murder of another agent and to recover a list of spies. Theron has proved herself to be a great action movie star in films like Mad Max: Fury Road, but this solidifies her position as one of the best actresses working today. Some of her dialogue is wooden and feels forced, but her overall performance is very entertaining. I’ve seen James McAvoy in better roles, but his performance is still good. It’s just not as good as Charles Xavier in the X-Men Beginnings Trilogy, or (of course) Kevin in Split earlier this year.
The best part of this movie by far is, of course, the action. I was a bit disappointed because, unfortunately, a lot of the action was spoiled in the trailers. That being said, it was still very entertaining and the camera work is stunning. Whether it be in a car, in a building or on the street, every action sequence is spectacular.
A small issue I had is that because the story is told from the perspective of an interrogated Lorraine, a bit of the tension and suspense is lost because you know she just ends up with a shiner. However, the transition between her interrogation and the story is done very well.
The writing and story are admittedly, a bit thin, and the ending is quite disappointing (no spoilers, of course) but I think a film like this should be judged for what it is: an 80s-set spy film. Style over substance is acceptable when the style is so damn good, and this marks a great second film from the man who will bring us Deadpool 2 in 2018.
If you love movies that are brutal, well-directed and have killer soundtracks, then Atomic Blonde is for you. A great summer flick, and one worth seeing on the big screen. I’m going to give it a B+.
Atomic Blonde stars Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Til Schweiger, Eddie Marsan, Sofia Boutella, Toby Jones. Directed by David Leitch.