The Joxer Film Review..
Based on the 2012 graphic novel “The Coldest City” and starring Charlize Theron,James McAvoy,John Goodman,Sophia Boutella and Toby Jones,Atomic Blonde is set in Berlin,November 1989,just as the wall is about to come down..
Charlize Theron is Lorraine Broughton,a top MI6 British agent being interrogated by her superior [Jones] and CIA agent Emmett Kurzfeld [Goodman] about the death of British spies in Berlin and “The List”,a name of all double agents in the field,which lies in the hands of Kremlin spies.Broughton then relays the story in flashback-mode of what happened in Berlin and her mission to retrieve The List..
This John Wick inspired movie finds Theron in fine form as the assassin in thigh high boots,kicking butts and killing bad guys from beginning to end with sleek and snazzy aplomb in the cold atmosphere of the sleazy underbelly of downtown Berlin at the end of the Cold War.
Her film presence is there for all to see as she stylishly shows that women can kick ass as good as the men in action movies.Her mean and moody persona doesn’t distract from the fact that Theron has serious action skills in movies and the [one shot?] fight scene on the stairs proves that without doubt as she takes out all the baddies thrown in front of her.
The acting is spot on from the word go,McAvoy plays his part with conviction as the go-between spy that’s been in Berlin longer than he should have,Goodman plays the CIA head with a back-handed cynicism and political wit,whilst Toby Jones plays his best British MI6 character,just as he did in Tinker,Tailor,Soldier,Spy..
The film,however,relies totally on it’s very graphic and hard-hitting action scenes and thankfully they are spot on throughout.The Marvel Daredevil Season 2 Hells Angels inspired stair scene in this film proves that the film-makers knew their audience and knew how to keep them on the edge of their seats throughout.It is seriously fast-paced,high octane action with Theron’s Debbie Harry inspired look and character the heart and soul of the film.
The music is hit and miss though.As good as most of the soundtrack is,some of it just doesn’t “fit” in the scenes in the same way as the music does in Baby Driver for instance.Some of the songs are too obvious for the clip but most of it is fine,fitting in the timeline of the late 1980’s.I think film-makers are also aware I give extra points for Queen songs and are trying to butter me up.A less obvious Queen song would have been better though..
All in all this film is top-notch as the plot to find out who is the traitor within slowly reveals itself with plenty of espionage,twists and turns,cat and mouse games to keep the most ardent spy film fan engrossed with what’s going on whilst the rest of the audience enjoys the fight scenes in-between Broughton asking “am I your bitch now..?” as she beats up the latest Soviet baddie with quick quips and quicker reflexes..
A top film that can rival John Wick for all out action and a heroine you can believe in from the beginning to the very end.
Joxer Film Rating
[plus the extra bonus point for use of a Queen song]
4 stars out of 5