Directed by David Leitch- starring Charlize Theron, James Mcavoy, John Goodman.
The seductive and stoic MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton enters the unstable micro chasm of cold war Berlin and has to defend herself from extreme danger around every corner. Can Lorraine discover the double agent set to undermine the crown and ultimately save the lives of fellow agents at risk of discovery?
Charlize Theron is as chain smoking, ass kicking, atomic blonde bombshell in this 80’s cold war spy flick, dripping with blood and style. Blatantly drawing inspiration from his previous exploits such as John Wick and the Bourne series, Leitch takes the graphic novel hit John Wick and gives it a ‘feminine touch’- if that’s what you want to call it.
Starting strongly with its absolutely banging synth soundtrack, Atomic Blonde has the audience sneering and feeling like a bad-ass while she struts through the Berlin snow and walking over defeated opponents in 6-inch heels.
No new ground is really trodden, but Leitch takes what he learned from previous spy films and pushes the emphasis on style to 11. Much needed neon bulbs and sharp coloured spray paint cuts through the monochromatic Soviet landscape, giving the film some creative panache and a visual signature.
The cast all comfortably play their parts but none stand out, mostly due to the restrictive writing and tone. Charlize Theron is captivating as the seductive spy but lacks the ‘Je ne sais quoi’ needed to take her to the next level and make her a force on screen.
Being a successful stuntman himself, Leitch has spent countless hours perfecting the visual impact and generally impressive stunt work. Theron and Mcavoy are convincing as an unlikely duo and deliver decent chemistry for the majority of the run time, but the first half of the feature is noticeably stronger and struggles not to drift off as time goes on.
Atomic blonde is a fun female version of John Wick and should be treated as such. Unfortunately, Leitch thinks his film is slightly cleverer than it is. The twists and turns of the plot are painfully obvious and leave the climax partly unsatisfying.
Better than most films being released of late Atomic Blonde is perfect for a day out with friends or to fill a spare few hours with a femme fatale kicking butt. In the long run, however, Atomic Blonde will be forgotten ironically to its cousins the Jason Bourne and John Wick.
3/5 Star Rating.