Released: July 28, 2017
Running Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
“Agent Lorraine Broughton is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on an impossible mission. Sent alone into Berlin before the Wall came down, to retrieve a priceless dossier from within the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief David Percival to navigate her way through a deadly game of spies.”
This film is rated ‘R’ for female nudity, heavy alcohol use, and extreme and brutal violence. So keep that in mind when deciding if this is the type of movie for you.
My opening thoughts on this movie going in, was that this movie was one of the most anticipated movies of the summer, with people calling it the female 007, or the female John Wick, and I can understand the comparisons, female spy, similar stylisations of John Wick. I think that comparing it with those movies does all of them a disservice. It’s similar in style and aspect, but in little else. Movies should be able to stand on its own, and Atomic Blonde is able to do, to a certain extent.
Crew and Cast
Based upon the graphic novel series ‘The Coldest City’ which was written by Antony Johnston and illustrated by Sam Hart. Atomic Blonde’s screenplay was written by Kurt Johnstad who previously worked on the ‘300’ movies as well as Act of Valor in between those films.
Atomic Blonde was directed by David Leitch, who is an actor / stuntman / stunt coordinator turned director and who was uncredited in working on John Wick. He also directed the Deadpool short that played before the Logan film in theatres. He’s currently directing Deadpool 2 which will come out in 2018.
Atomic Blonde features a list of very strong actors, that includes Charlize Theron as super spy Lorraine Broughton, James McAvoy as the head of the MI6 in Berlin David Percival, Eddie Marsan as the one with “The List’ Spyglass, John Goodman as CIA head Emmett Kurzfeld, Toby Jones as Lorraine’s superior Eric Gray, James Faulkner as the Chief of MI6 ‘C’, Sofia Boutella as French photographer Delphine Lasalle, Bill Skarsgård as Merkel, Roland Møller as Aleksander Bremovych, Sam Hargrave as James Gasciogne, and Til Schweiger as the Watchmaker.
The acting done in Atomic blonde was a strong point of the film. The actors are able to leave the audience guessing throughout the film. I feel that McAvoy is showing time and time again that he is developing into a very strong actor, after the year that he’s been having with Split and now this, it displays his range and the quality of his craft. Theron was amazing in her role in this, you can tell that she really threw herself into this role with all of the training that is required for the fight scenes that are clearly her.
The music choices was very interesting in their usage during specific scenes, but worked out really well. I enjoyed the quirkiness of the soundtrack selection. They use songs from the 80s in ways that you wouldn’t think it would work with the scene, but somehow managed to work.
The cinematography in this movie which was done by Jonathan Sela, who has previously worked on Transformers: The Last Knight and the first John Wick film. It was a beautifully shot film and there were several one shot action sequences that was beautiful to watch and extremely well choreographed.
The fight scenes in this movie was extreme, and really brutal. You could feel the hits land and the pain that the characters are feeling. It was exhausting the characters and you could see the toll that the fighting took on them. Theron’s character is not overpowered, just really well trained. You see her struggle in the fights and the usage of everyday items when fighting for her life is realistic if a regular person was in that situation; grab anything nearby and hit them with it.
Atomic Blonde’s underlining “who is it?” story keeps you guessing until the credits roll as to what is going on, who is on who’s side. It was very well done in a spy movie to never truly know what is going on.
The Not So Good
The story of the movie where a ‘master list of names’ gets stolen, and puts the lives of every secret agent in the world in danger has been done so many times. The fact that they tried to put a little spin in this movie would have worked, if it was a little less predictable. The movie tries to be clever, which works in some moments, but fails in most of them.
The pacing for Atomic Blonde was all over the place. In some scenes it would have a very high intensity and make you feel as if you were in a spy thriller, in other times I was left wondering why these particular scenes were included in the film.
I already mentioned the ending as one of the good parts of the movie, however it was also one of the not so good parts about it. For some people it could be a potentially confusing end to the film, in that there were multiple endings that just kept going and going, and the final scene was totally out of left field, that unless you were paying very close attention to the accents of the characters, and even then it’s very easy to miss them.
Final Thoughts and Score
Overall, I thought it was a good film, it had great acting, the music and visuals of the movie was spot on, and the fighting was brutal and entertaining, however, the pacing was off, and the story was a by the book spy movie involving lists, which has been done a bunch. The ending is a mixed bag that keeps you guessing until the end, but could easily be confusing for people. In the end, I would give this film a score of 7.25/10.
What did you think of the movie? Movies are extremely subjective, and some people will disagree with me. I would love to hear those opinions either way. Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear from you!!
What movie would you like me to review??
Thanks for reading,
Tags: Atomic Blonde