Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde is set during the cold war on the eve of the collapse of the Berlin Wall. This movie definitely packs a punch, and few kicks - followed by a nice roundhouse. Agent Gasciogne is assassinated, while running through the streets in his bathrobe. Ten days later, the highly-skilled MI16 agent, Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is brought into an interrogation room with CIA and MI16 executives to recount the details of the “failed” mission.

The assassinated agent was in possession of The List, which was spy-fully hidden in a watch. The List contained the names of double agents in the Soviet Union. Broughton’s assignment was to go to Berlin alone and work with internal station chief, David Percival (James McAvoy) who has been embedded in the Soviet Union. The mission was to recover The List/watch and to kill another agent known as Satchel. There is a detour in the plans when it is discovered that an officer, with the code name “Spyglass” had temporarily stolen and memorized The List. Added to the stress of reacquiring the device, Broughton must now help to get Spyglass (Eddie Marsan) and his family to West Berlin. That mission also goes horribly wrong when Spyglass is mysteriously killed during the rescue mission. After many attempts to kill her and feeling like someone was watching her every move, Broughton begins to suspect that Percival might actually be the mysterious Satchel. A deadly game of spies ensues.

Great movie moments:

A Ronald Reagan speech excerpt opens the movie and sets the tone for the film.

The ACTION, yes, all in capital letters. The fighting scenes are extremely, well-choreographed. The fact that Theron performed them in mostly high heels and short skirts was pretty amazing. A bit ridiculous, and unrealistic, but still amazing.

Charles Goodman delivers and excellent performance as the CIA executive Kurzfeld.

The music/sound track is a throwback to the 80’s. Get ready for some head-banging tunes.

Not-so-great movie moments:

A naked Cherlize Theron rising out of a bathtub full of ice at the beginning of the movie, a bit unnecessary, but the audience needed to see her battered and bruised body to set the tone for her character.

The chain, chain smoking (yes it’s a double). When so many movies are trying to downplay the use of cigarettes, it was odd to watch the throwback nod to the “sexy look” of smoking. When you consider it though, it does fit in the time period.

Like so many destination movies, the character location is flashed on the screen at the beginning of each scene. While I’m sure there was a point to it, the “spray paint” effect used felt elementary and cartoonish.

Extra information:

Atomic Blonde is an adaptation of a graphic novel series– The Coldest City

Overall, I rate this movie a 3 out 5. The story line was a little hard to follow. Full disclosure, I did not read the graphic novel for this movie so I probably missed a lot of the backstory.

Director: David Leitch,(director debut - John Wick. Has been a stunt double for Brad Pitt and Jean-Claude Van Damme)
Rated: R – Nudity, extreme blood and gore.
Run time: 1 he 55 min

Interested in reading the novel? Check out Atomic Blonde: The Coldest City on Amazon.

I viewed this in the movie theaters and paid for my own ticket. I have not been compensated for this review.

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