Charlize can kick your ass any day of the week, twice on Sunday if she wants to!
If there’s one thing ATOMIC BLONDE does that MAD MAX: FURY ROAD didn’t do is expose Charlize Theron in the most sassiest, yet savage ways ever – and I loved it! “Girl Power” is an understatement for Theron’s exposition as she reluctantly simmers within psychological confines of kill or be killed in her latest role. One that doesn’t pull any punches (literally), and if need be, embraces the art of going beyond.
It’s 1989 in Berlin, on the eve of the Berlin Wall’s dismantling and an explosive realignment of superpower alliances. If, on an average day in the spy game, it is difficult to know who to trust, it’s a completely different and complex story amidst the powder keg that is this coldest of cities. Lorraine Broughton (Theron), a brave, witty, fierce, seductive top-level agent for MI6, has been dispatched to Germany to topple a ruthless espionage ring that has killed an Allied undercover agent for reasons unknown.
As inevitability would have it, she’s targeted for elimination minutes after arriving. Following a cat-and-mouse chase that throws her mission for a loop, an abrupt run-in morphs into a reluctant team-up with reckless Berlin station chief David Percival (James McAvoy). As the dreadful mission continues to unfurl leads of confusion and questionable characters, Broughton relies on her survival smarts to see herself through one of her toughest assignments ever.
Straight-forward would be the best way to describe this thrill-ride of brute action among a world of espionage. It isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. However, its appeal: Charlize Theron! This woman is something else. Clearly on a level all on her own as she displays the ability to be a female action-star! Although ATOMIC BLONDE is brought to you by those behind the awesome JOHN WICK franchise, to label this piece “Jane Wick” would be a disservice to the unique, vibrant, and vicious performance by Theron. One that shines bright among a dark world of twists and turns. Running alongside a fantastic 80’s soundtrack and amazing fight and/or action sequences, ATOMIC BLONDE’s maniacal plot provides an exhilarating experience.
Playing off a debriefing backdrop, the parallels between both worlds tie in lovely. The film also stars John Goodman as CIA operative Emmett Kurzfeld, Til Schweiger as the enigmatic Watchmaker, Eddie Marsan as Spyglass, Sofia Boutella as French intel agent Delphine, and Toby Jones as MI6 investigator Eric Gray. A cast of which all serve up interest as they take the screen, but of all supporters, McAvoy kills it once again as he portrays an out-of-control, yet laid-back maniac. Almost what we saw back in February with SPLIT, only here… Well, you’ll for yourself.
Be warned, people. ATOMIC BLONDE is not for faint-hearted folks. As much fun as this film is, it doesn’t hold back on violence. It’s rough, rugged, and raw! Director David Leitch (Co-director, JOHN WICK; director of upcoming DEADPOOL 2) goes beyond when expressing human aggression. In a fight scene that lasts several minutes, seems like gore-porn was the idea. It’s way beyond comprehension. So much, I advise for you to disengage your brain if you must. This is all from a graphic novel. (One I never read.) So, it’s no surprise the level of craziness courtesy of the film. In the end, it’s all in cinematic fun. One that runs on B movie appeal with A movie execution! The result is another great step for more powerful female leads in the future as well as what could very well be a sequel. Too early to say, but bravo for now with ATOMIC BLONDE.
Grade: A / Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Suspense / Rated: R / Run Time: 1.55
Starring: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Toby Jones, Sofia Boutella, Eddie Marsan, Til Schweiger
Directed by: David Leitch
© 2017 Focus Features / Universal Pictures