What an awesome action thriller! I went into the theater prepared for something wild and that’s exactly what I received; Atomic Blonde is the battle royale of the summer. Atomic Blonde is based on the 2012 graphic novel titled The Coldest City by Antony Johnston And Sam Hart. Shameless plug but shout out to my favorite comic book store Brave New Worlds in Old City for ordering me a copy of the Coldest City but I digress. Atomic Blonde is set in 1989 Berlin around the time of the Berlin Wall’s collapse and the film superbly captured the bleakness and political dissension. Charlize Theron plays Lorraine Broughton, an MI-6 spy that’s thrown into a perilous mission in a city where no one can be trusted. Her encounters with Berlin station chief David Percival, played by James McAvoy, and the beautiful undercover french agent Delphine Lasalle (Sofia Boutella) makes this tale of entrapment so complex that you can’t blinking because you may miss out on a double cross or two. Atomic Blonde is THAT good.
What I really liked about the movie is that the onscreen fights were as raw and brutal as what I saw in John Wick and that can be credited to director David Leitch, who along with Chad Stahelski, directed the first John Wick starring Keanu Reeves. Fighting in Atomic Blonde, like John Wick, is ugly and I prefer that when it comes to hand to hand combat. The fight choreography is very resourceful as each combatant in their given scenes utilized pieces of their environment as they battled to the death. This style of cinematic free-for-all brought an extra dose of realism to the film. Every so often we see protagonists engage in fisticuffs and unrealistically walk away as if they weren’t thrown through a window or slammed into a glass table.
Also, the sex scene in the movie is cool too and not for the typical reasons though that reason is awesome too. The cinematography of that scene made a typical romp into a piece of art. The color of the hotel room coupled the actual momentum of intimacy turned it into an awesome visual. And to be frank, the entire film’s aesthetic made you feel like you were really experiencing the discord of late eighties Berlin and the soundtrack that featured cuts by such artists like New Order, George Michael, Public Enemy, Nena (I actually like 99 Luft Balloons but don’t ask me why),David Bowie and the Clash further established that feeling.
I’d definitely see it in theaters again.