Atomic Blonde, 2017.
Directed by David Leitch.
Starring Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, Eddie Marsan, John Goodman, Toby Jones, Bill Skarsgard, and Sofia Boutella.
An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.
Following on from Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road, Charlize Theron is now beating the crap out of a ton of people on David Leitch’s Atomic Blonde. Theron’s reinvention as an action star has been fascinating to watch and Atomic Blonde is great if you want an enjoyable spy movie with a strong female lead who can go toe to toe with anyone she comes up against.
The plot is a little convoluted to say the least but Theron is Lorraine Broughton; an undercover MI6 agent who’s sent to Berlin just before the wall is due to fall. An agent has been killed and a list of double agents is missing. If the plot sounds familiar it’s because we’ve seen it a ton of times from the first Mission Impossible to Skyfall and so on. What ensues is a lot of twists and turns, hardcore action, some classic 80s tunes and awesome fashion. Atomic Blonde feels as if it has more style over substance but it’s held together by Theron’s strong performance. Supporting her is the ever reliable James McAvoy as drunken agent David Percival, Sofia Boutella as French spy and love interest Delphine as well as a quiet but significant performance from Eddie Marsan as whistleblower Spyglass. There are no dud performances in the film, it just feels that the plot is by the numbers and going through a check list of clichés.
The first half of Atomic Blonde left my mind wandering as the plot took a while to get going, but the second half is packed with action. A ten minute one shot (actually comprised of about 40 shots) is thrilling and seamlessly edited together. Theron has thrown herself into the action and this amazing sequences that starts on the stairwell of an abandoned building and works its way into various rooms and then outside for a car chase is pulse pounding. David Leitch is best known for co-directing John Wick and his respect for action sequences is demonstrated once again. When watching John Wick it was amazing to actually watch an action sequence that didn’t have 50 edits and Leitch has shown a similar flare here. The fight choreography is simply fantastic and sets Atomic Blonde apart from other similar action films.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★