Action, Action and More Action
Where to start on this movie? There may be some spoilers ahead if you read the entire review, fair warning! As a comic book nerd, I was surprised to find that the movie; Atomic Blonde, is based on a graphic novel called, “The Coldest Winter”. Atomic Blonde features Mi6 agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) as a sexy and resourceful spy sent into Berlin a week before the Berlin wall falls in 1989. The movie features quite a lot of spy craft, some great fight scenes with some decent action. The sum of Lorraine’s mission is sent to retrieve a priceless list spy names that reveals the confidential real names of the Mi6 and the CIA spies. She partners with embedded station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to navigate her way through a deadly game of spies.
The acting was decent, not the greatest, but not the worst either. Charlize Theron is a decent actress. She did manage to convince me she was a spy for the British throughout the entire film, I will give her that. She made the character appear to feel comfortable in any situation she was put in as long as she had a cigarette in her mouth and glass of cheap Vodka; on the rocks in her hand. Apparently, all spies in the 80’s were chain smoking, and also, alcoholics. James McAvoy’s character has the superior acting ability over everybody else in the film. His portrayal of a Mi6 agent playing a double agent is very entertaining. Seeing him in previous films such as the X-Men franchise displays his acting ability really well when compared to the characters from his past films and the one he plays in this movie. He is a one of the fewer, newer, genuine actors of this decade. John Goodman (Emmett Kurzfeld) plays a hot shot CIA interviewing/debriefing Lorraine on her previous mission. Goodman as always is a on the spot, seasoned, and enjoyable actor to view when he is on screen. Sofia Boutella’s (Delphine Lasalle) character is a French intelligence spy on her first mission attempting to recover the spy list for the French government. So far, I have seen her in five movies total. Her acting prowess is decent, not great and a little over the top in a few scenes. There were a few more actors I’ve seen before but not noteworthy enough to even mention.
The story is one that we all have seen before. A list of spy names with their corresponding real name is out in the open. There is an element of endangerment of all spy agencies involved if that list gets in the hands of the wrong people. The spy who steals the list always takes too long to get rid of it once they get it, and they end of up dead. The list eventually gets into the right hands after a whole-lotta-murderin takes place. Double crosses and reveals shows who are on whose side three quarters of the way through. Exactly at the one hour mark I caught myself checking my watch to see how far we were into the movie. The first hour dragged on it seemed. The movie had a few good action scenes at the start, but mostly talking the first hour. I started to actually get a headache and was thinking about leaving. When the second hour started is when all the action showed up it. It started to peak my interest enough to make me forget my headache was even there. There was a lesbian love scene between Theron’s and Boutella’s characters which would definitely qualify it these days as late-night HBO softcore porn scene. It was enjoyable, but unnecessary to help, improve or move along the story. Some of the fight scenes near the end appear to be shot straight without a break, very impressive. The actors and actresses appeared to be real pain when the fights were happening on screen. A ten to fifteen-minute-long fight scene is pretty hard to pull off these days. The fight scenes made up for the slowness of the start of the film, along with the soundtrack.
I love the 80’s especially the music. This was one of the best soundtracks for a movie that I have heard in a really long time. It was not just playing in the background, but it blended quite well with the scenes and acting. David Bowie, Peter Schilling, The Clash and A Flock of Seagulls were just a few of the bands/musicians featured in the film. Anytime one of the songs started playing I would start bouncing my head and I would start singing along.
The later action scenes and awesome soundtrack convinced me to give this film a 2.5, maybe 3 stars out of 5. Brainless action is always fun, which in my opinion is the category this movie falls into. The movie was a good one timer. I recommend watching while drinking with some friends.