Flash Movie Review: Atomic Blonde
“ACT LIKE A LADY,” what does that exactly mean? I always found it an odd comment because I had never seen or heard about a primer that explained how girls and boys were supposed to act. Sure I remember when I was a child boys played with toy soldiers, guns and baseball bats; while girls played with stuffed animals, tea sets and dolls. There was a young girl who enjoyed playing with trucks, the bigger the better. I can still remember the odd looks some adults would give her as if she was doing something wrong. I used to babysit some of my female relatives and play house with them; it never occurred to me to tell them boys don’t play house or host a dinner party. If that is what they wanted to play or if they wanted to play cards I did not care. However, I was aware that out among my friends I could be teased for it. FAST forward to current times and there now seems like there is a push by people, companies and such to praise women, to show how progressive they have become. Now do not get me wrong, I am all for putting a spotlight on anyone who deserves it; however, some of these campaigns ring false to me. A company has formed a women’s group to promote female employees; yet they still do not get the same pay scale as their male counterparts. A film comes out with a strong female lead but studio executives still treat some of their female staff in an inappropriate way. It bugs me when people assign a label to their friends or co-workers. For example statements like, “my black friend” or “my gay co-worker;” do we really need to classify an individual? Isn’t a friend just your friend or does one choose their friends to fit a specific category? For those who want to try and classify the main character in this action thriller you will have a hard time figuring out what to say. SENT to Berlin to retrieve a secret list MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton, played by Charlize Theron (Dark Places, Mad Max: Fury Road), was a target even before she landed. Based on the graphic novel series “The Coldest City” the cast also included James McAvoy (X-Men franchise, Split) as David Percival, Eddie Marsan (Sherlock franchise, Ray Donovan-TV) as Spyglass, John Goodman (Love the Coopers, Kong: Skull Island) as Emmett Kurzfeld and Toby Jones (Captain America franchise, Tale of Tales) as Eric Gray. Hands down this was Charlize’s film all the way. She simply was a beast in this picture. The fight scenes looked graphically real and Charlize must have gone through intense hand to hand combat training because it showed. I had read afterwards she did over 90% of all the stunts. The soundtrack was an important part to the script, but here is the downside to it. The script was confusing and not as strong as it could have been. I did not mind the jumping back in forth in time but would have preferred less of it. Regardless I felt this was at times an intense, mysterious, all out thriller that did not need to be defined as a male or female film; it was an equal opportunity battle. There were scenes with blood and strong violence.
Posted on August 1, 2017, in Thriller and tagged 3 stars, action, charlize theron, cold war, eddie marsan, graphic novel, james mcavoy, john goodman, mi6, mystery, thriller, toby jones. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.
Pretty much my thoughts exactly. A film in which the technical aspects and lead acting outweigh a meh to bad/unintelligible plot.
Once again we are in synch MovieMan Jackson. Thanks for stopping by to leave your comments.
I thought this movie looked like it could be fun. I won’t manage to see it in the cinema so I’ll check it out when it becomes available for the small screen.
Just a reminder it has intense violence and blood. Thanks for the comments.
I rather like intense violence and blood. But the fact I can’t go to the cinema without my children is why I can’t see this movie in the cinema.
I figured that was the reason; so I can wait until you see it. Thanks for the comments.
Just saw the film at the Cinema.
I’ll agree that the script was simple: ‘Berlin late 1980s just before the Wall comes down, a Stasi operative has a list of spy agents and uses it as bargaining advantage to defect to the west.’ Included in the list is the identity of “Satchel” a double agent. That is it. The plot revolves around who (|the Russians, The Brits, The USA , maybe the French, or some thugs) will recover the list and reveal the name of the ‘mole’ – Satchel and kill the rest.
I enjoyed the nostalgic music of the 80s and the comic style wham-bam fight scenes although at times too graphic. There was some good twisting and turning of the plot, which actually made sense at the end. Our MI6 agent (Lorraine Broughton) spoke fluent Russian and her favourite drink of choice Vodka was portrayed at ever opportunity, an almost female James Bond character.
I left the cinema feeling that this film was spoilt by the political undertones and not too subtle laugh at Europe from the American view point.
The so called special relationship between the UK MI and the USA CIA, was shown as if the Brits were bumbling and clueless. The naive French female agent was included, in my opinion, to add some sex, because the Brits are in Bed with the French – perhaps a US Joke.
Then the Russians,(for ever the evil villains and life long enemy) rich thugs who get done over, beaten up by our MI6, woman.
Charlize Theron and Jack McAvoy give great performances and if you can accept the whole film as a comic book take off then it is good fun and worthy of entertainment. Don’t expect any depth of intrigue as in the likes of a John Le Carrie spy novel.
After all sometimes a tongue in cheek laugh at ourselves is what we need during a rainy after noon, and at the end the heroes fly off into the sunset.
HI James, Thank you for taking the time to write your thoughts here. I appreciate your take on the different spy organizations; I did not look at them with the depth you did. However, your words will make me take a closer look when the occasion occurs. For me this was like you said a comic book film; I was most impressed with Charlize’s performance. Once again thank you for your comments.
I hope to see this one day, but it isn’t one I can take my kids to. Oh, well.
Hi Brenda and that is a big yes, no kids should be watching this film. I do hope you get to see it thought at some point.