Atomic Blonde

"OK"

Atomic Blonde Review


From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front and centre as an unstoppable government operative. Set during the Cold War, it has buckets of visual panache, with eye-popping action choreography that makes it a guilty pleasure. If only that much attention had been given to the script, because both the characters and plot feel naggingly thin, never making the most of the people or places.

The film opens in 1989 London, as top MI6 spy Lorraine (Theron) recounts her recent mission to her British and American superiors (Toby Jones and John Goodman). Sent to Berlin just before the wall comes down, her main job is to discover what happened to a secret list of agents that was being held by a murdered colleague. In East Germany, she makes contact with David (James McAvoy), a fellow agent who has gone native, a little too deep undercover as a black market smuggler. While tracking down this elusive list, Lorraine meets a nervous Stasi officer (Eddie Marsan) desperate to defect to the west, and she faces off against a KGB boss (Roland Moller) with slash-and-burn tactics. And then there's the French spy Delphine (Sofia Boutella), with whom she enjoys rather more than a professional coupling.

James Macavoy in Atomic BlondeJames Macavoy in Atomic Blonde

With these kinds of colourful characters and plenty of tangled intrigue, the film should be a lot of fun. But director David Leitch and writer Kurt Johnstad play it in a way that feels oddly simplistic. The whodunit plot never generates much suspense, so the best things about the movie are the astonishing fights and chases, which are shot and performed with real gusto. Each scene has an enjoyably ramshackle quality to it, as if anything can happen at any moment. So quiet conversations shift into brutal battles in the blink of an eye, climaxing in a breathtaking extended sequence shot as if it's a single long take, after which Theron looks like she's been mauled by a bear.

It's great to see an action movie with a realistic edge to the stylised action, from the cool 80s vibe to the way these characters struggle to get up after being knocked down, collecting bruises and scars as they go. As always, Theron is magnetic as a rather glacial operative who never gives up. McAvoy has a lot of fun with his energetic role, and Marsan has so much soul in his eyes that we worry about his fate amid all of these killers. Meanwhile, Boutella offers a bit of lustiness, even if the emotions never quite follow.

Watch the trailer for Atomic Blonde:



Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Box Office Worldwide: $45.8M

Budget: $30M

Production compaines: Denver and Delilah Productions, Film i Väst, Focus Features, 87Eleven, Closed on Mondays Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: David Leitch

Producer: , Kelly McCormick, , Peter Schwerin

Starring: as Lorraine Broughton, as David Percival, as Delphine Lasalle, as Emmett Kurzfeld, as Eric Gray, as Spyglass, Bill Skarsgård as Merkel, as Chief 'C', Roland Møller as Aleksander Bremovych, as James Gasciogne, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson as Yuri Bakhtin, as Watchmaker, Lili Gesler as Helena, Sara Natasa Szonda as Audrey, Cale Schultz as Boris, as Coroner, Attila Árpa as East German Guard #1, Martin Angerbauer as East German Guard #2, Declan Hannigan as Driver, Balázs Lengyel as Gentleman, Daniel Hargrave as Sniper, Greg Rementer as Spotter, as Soldier

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.