If you like gritty, bloody fight scenes or miss the 80s way too much, Atomic Blonde is for you. If you're not a fan of empty plots or devoid characters, perhaps sit this one out.
Atomic Blonde, the breakneck action thriller starring Charlize Theron, arrives in Event Cinemas today and tells the story of MI6's most lethal assassin as she is sent into Berlin to make a special delivery.
Without giving too much away, Theron's character, Lorraine Broughton, partners with station chief David Percival, played by James McAvoy as she navigates her way through the city and solves the game's of spies.
Overall, Atomic Blonde was a good attempt and pretty engaging.
The extreme stylization and artsy effects and techniques were good, but being a blockbuster film, Atomic Blonde loses the right to be genuinely artsy in the first place. It successfully captures the zeitgeist of the late 80s in Berlin with imagery reflecting a post-cold-war era. However, even that was diminished by the overkill of 80s music used at every opportunity. Yes, the soundtrack was nostalgic and enhanced the intensity of the action scenes, but I swear they played every single hit from the 80s.
The fight scenes were nothing special but that's what made them great. The barely cut, barely edited authenticity of these fights really brought out the gruelling intensity. To Theron's credit, she pulled off all stunts on her own.
The plot, however, is probably the weakest aspect of Atomic Blonde and unfortunately arguably the most important component of any film. There was no character building and very little backstory so you were often left in the dark about who each character was and what they were doing. Being a spy movie, perhaps this was intentional because we weren't meant to know their true identity or something, but, even when relationships were insinuated or often very obvious, they weren't explained. Even the significant love story between Lorraine Broughton (Theron) and her female French lover wasn't pursued; arguably an attempt to beef up the film on the theory that 'sex sells'.
Regardless, by the end of the movie, you're left sitting in the cinema wrapping your head around what just happened and once you figure it out, you realize there was nothing much to figure out in the first place.
Overall though, with the combination of Theron's (expected) nude scenes, 80's bangerz and brutal action-packed bouts, Atomic Blonde is an enjoyable action flick for both the ladies and the fellas.