With so much style and attitude to spare, Atomic Blonde maintains an infectious level of kinetic energy even if won't exactly tax the brain.
It's dark yet colorful, action-packed yet steeped in John le Carré-style ethical intrigue, and feminist while mighty solicitous of the male gaze. You'll see, but you'll likely be puzzled during large parts of it. David Leitch directs a script by Kurt Johnstad (adapting the graphic novel series The Coldest City), while the supporting cast also includes James Faulkner, Sam Hargrave, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Eddie Marsan, Roland Møller, Til Schweiger, Bill Skarsgård, and more.
The drama was directed by David Leitch, who first gained experience in the action genre by assisting Chad Stahelski in the helming duties of the hit 2014 drama, 'John Wick,' although the former's work was uncredited on the movie.
Using whatever is handy to inflict maximum physical damage is one of the specialties of "Atomic Blonde".
People don't usually move very fast in Cold War thrillers. You'll bop your head along to the 80s tunes, you'll cheer at the set pieces, and then you'll try to figure out what it all added up to.
The spy thriller unfolds in late 1989 as the Berlin Wall is finally taken down. "But the story is still that; the characters are still complex, but the world is fun and exciting and commercial". In Berlin, Lorraine is meant to team up with local MI6 station chief David Percival (James McAvoy), but he's such an unreliable loose cannon that he's as much an obstacle as an asset. Mad Max: Fury Road and the Fate of the Furious have proven she is adept in those roles.
"We planned to arc the action tonally with Lorraine's journey", Leitch tells Inverse. He wants you to remember the spectacular auto crashes. Theron uses an array of guns, with and without bullets, and pieces of furniture to obliterate anyone who stands in her way, and it is magnificent.
The bruises turn out to be from the story she soon relates. I did, however, like the fight sequence that showed Broughton and her attacker breathless and worn out from their fight. Theron and Reeves collaborated together in 1997 for "The Devil's Advocate". Despite the training, though, she left the "Atomic" production in need of dental work. The plot of the film is so scattered that it is hard to keep track of what is going on in the first place. This movie is cool, both with its attitude and its look. "It's amusing, I have such a great collaboration with Jonathan Sela, the cinematographer ["Wick 1", "Deadpool 2"], we have sort of a shorthand. So that sequence was all hands on deck, all departments". Every super-agent saga needs a steamy love interest, and Broughton's just happens to be another female badass. Let's just say that if Theron's Broughton turned up in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy", the old boys would've soiled their trench coats.
The only other woman in sight - aside from a frosty coronor played by the great German actress Barbara Sukowa - is Delphine LaSalle (Sofia Boutella), a naïve French spy who falls into bed with Lorraine in a scene that plays as an awkward midway point between a Bond-girl seduction scene and the French lesbian drama "Blue Is the Warmest Color".
From the endless and endlessly obvious music cues - hello, "99 Luft Balloons" and Depeche Mode and New Order and Falco and Public Enemy and so many more - to the painstakingly rendered neon settings and punk rock accouterments decorating the Communist underground - this is a movie about nothing beyond that setting. "There's fantasy-fulfillment in Charlize's character in a lot of ways, for men and women". She is clearly better than the men she is up against and beats them (literally) at their own game. Therefore her triumphs, via brains or brawn, are a lot more satisfying. Theron has a background as a dancer - she trained in ballet until a knee injury altered her career - and the choreography not only serves the deadly elegance of her form, but makes the camera her invisible partner.