Charlize Theron succeeds in bringing another strong female character to life in this action-packed adaptation of the graphic novel “The Coldest City” in Atomic Blonde. Theron, who says she performed all her own stunts, sports the blonde hair like a trophy just as good as Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde back in 2001. This movie packs a punch literally as her skills in combat are front and center in her mission to solve the murder of a fellow agent and stop from a list of double agents in the MI6 during The Cold War.
The story is told through flashbacks The Usual Suspects style interrogated about the days leading up to her briefing on what happened on her mission. Looking pretty beat up as she is being questioned gives the impression that this mission was not an easy one and that assumption is true. Director David Leitch provides amazing action sequences and fight scenes to keep your attention and leaves no room to call shenanigans. Each time you see a punch, a kick, a throw, a gunshot is clear to see and looks painful. You start to wonder if they did take a few punches during filming. Superb fighting choreography in my opinion.
Theron plays a very cool, calm, and collected character with enough suave and swag to get the job done. She does come with some added help in the name of David Percival, played by James McAvoy, another agent who is her contact in Berlin. Percival methods are a bit different than Broughton so together is entertaining to watch their witty and flirty banter to each other. In addition to McAvoy, John Goodman, Toby Jones, and Sofia Boutella are great supporting additions to the film. Their characters are not wasted on screen or used as a prop for the leading characters.
The story however was not something to remember. The movie was entertaining but the story just wasn’t something to walk away and say that I was blown away. The plot was easy to follow in this whodunit and till the very end there was something going on that required your full attention but honestly if it wasn’t for the fight scenes and the soundtrack I would have fallen asleep. One of the standout fight sequences was to the George Michael hit “Father Figure”. Well done. The music used to match all the dark and colorful settings of the film were brilliant but it doesn’t excuse the fact that the story just wasn’t up to par. It seemed a bit obvious what was going on most of the film and it was just waiting for Broughton to catch up and reveal who the culprit was while being interrogated. Also, if you plan to go undercover, maybe don’t standout so much with the big blonde hair. The minute someone made her as an agent, the blonde hair should have disappeared right away but again blonde and proud she wore it throughout the movie making her target number one. Even though it wasn’t a smart move it brought the action.
Which is what you will be talking about after the movie, it’s not the story, it’s the action. The bloody action sequences, gun fire, and car chases are what saves this movie. One scene in particular towards the end of the movie, she is fighting her way through a building to protect a man with some information and each floor she travels through she is faced with many men waiting to kill her anyway she can. Let me just say that this scene alone is worth the money in theatres. With the creativity of the editing, this scene is edit to look like as if it was all done in ONE SINGLE SHOT. Very impressive. You will be glued to the screen watching her fight her way through her adversary leading to a one on one brawl with one of the toughest henchmen in the movie all wrapping up outside of the building with another car chase. AGAIN, all done in one shot. This scene is epic and you can’t miss it. These are the kind of action thrillers I enjoy watching versus the comedic action-packed movies. I just wanted the story to be better than what it was.
So overall, not many people I don’t think will be talking about this movie as much as they should but the movie did deliver in most parts but as a whole is not one of my favorites this year. Theron is picking great characters to play and I am loving each character as they are different from the previous. From a witch, to a cyber hacker, to a post-apocalyptic bad ass, to a female James Bond, I can’t wait to see who she plays next. Go to see her be wonderful and go for the fight scenes. This movie has potential to become a franchise. From an entertainment perspective, it was fun just not memorable for the right reasons.
4 out of 5
I hope this review helped with your decision to see it or not. Do you happen to agree or disagree with my observation? Comment below with your thoughts on the film and if you have any movie suggestions you would like me to watch and write about, let me know. See you at the movies.