Atomic Blonde (2017)

atomic blonde poster 2017 movie charlize theron
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Kinetic action, female lead, potential for character

Story could be developed more

Movie Info

Movie Name:   Atomic Blonde

Studio:  Denver and Delilah

Genre(s):   Action/Adventure/Comic Book

Release Date(s):  March 12, 2017 (South by Southwest)/July 28, 2017 (US)

MPAA Rating:   R

atomic blonde gunfight charlize theron

Guns don’t kill people…I do

The Berlin Wall is collapsing and the need for intel on the Soviet spy network is key.  A list of agents has been memorized by “Spyglass” (Eddie Marsan) who wants out of the Soviet Union with protection for his family.  Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) has been sent into to retrieve the list, but also warned that a double agent named “Satchel” could be operating within the MI6 organization.   With her contact David Percival (James McAvoy), Lorraine must obtain the list…but danger and deceit lurks around every corner.

Directed by David Leitch, Atomic Blonde is an action adventure film.  The movie is based on the Antony Johnson 2012 graphic novel The Coldest City.  It was released to positive reviews and a strong box office return.

Atomic Blonde is one of those high-octane movies that advertises itself as such.  The previews featured Theron fighting and shooting her way through agents with booming music.  Movies like this can just be flash, but fortunately, Atomic Blonde also has substance.

atomic blonde david percival james mcavoy

Don’t you dig my style?

The movie takes the Cold War setting and puts a Jason Bourne character in the middle of it.  The plot has everything you’d expect from a thriller from the period, but it is amplified.  There are agents, double agents, and assassins, and they are all out to get the list.  The story is told essentially as a flashback with Theron debriefing to her superiors…which also means that the storyteller is faulty since she is sculpting what she is telling.

The cast is strong.  Theron has shown her abilities as both a dramatic actress in movies like Monster but also an action star in Mad Max:  Fury Road.  McAvoy has also played similar roles in other films and is good as the cocky imbedded agent.  Toby Jones and John Goodman are the debriefing agents and Sofia Boutella is brought in as the doomed lover character (planned as a reversed James Bond moment by having a female romance for Theron).

atomic blonde charlize theron ending

Blonde goes Brunette

The movie has a lot of kinetic action.  It was filmed in conjunction with John Wick:  Chapter 2 (the two films competed during filming) and both films feel similar.  Atomic Blonde might be a little less action-y, but I do like the soundtrack and the East German setting.

Atomic Blonde is a fun movie that feels more like a “first step”.  It feels like the character has a lot of room for development and could be her own Bond-esque franchise with multiple women playing the character.  It is refreshing to see a solid action film starring a woman and Atomic Blonde proves again (despite some naysayers) that it is possible.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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