Atomic Blonde review: A Touch of flamboyance
By Express News Service | Published: 12th August 2017 08:46 AM |
Film: Atomic Blonde
Cast – Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Sofia Boutella
Director – David Leitch
Atomic Blonde, by its very definition, is all about its lead star, Charlize Theron. In the first twenty minutes, her character, Lorraine Broughton (an MI6 agent under investigation for a mission to Berlin in the late 80s), oozes panache with every frame. She is cool, calculating, cocky, and of course, lethal. As most Intelligence Agents portrayed onscreen, there is a controlled aggression behind her actions, and more importantly, her words.
On the verge of Germany’s unification and the fall of the Berlin Wall, Lorraine is sent to the city to retrieve The List, and track down the murderer of the MI6 operative who stole it. The List is a confidential piece of microfilm that contains the names of all active KGB field agents in the Soviet Union. Her MI6 contact in Berlin is the loud and opinionated David Percival (McAvoy).
The character study of Lorraine and David is intriguing to watch. While both come off as opposite ends of the spectrum, from their very first encounter, they are equally scheming and strategic in decision-making. The music plays one of the supporting characters to Theron & Co. throughout Atomic Blonde. In both action and dialogue, the perfect song features at the ideal moment. We are given a glimpse into the people we are watching thanks to Tyler Bates’ brilliant soundtrack.
The story unfolds in flashback, as Lorraine recounts the events to her MI6 superiors. Most spy thrillers of this day and age are all about the action, but this film adds that little dimension of depth to its protagonists. David Leitch’s direction and Kurt Johnstad’s screenplay give the necessary nods to all the heavyweights of the genre, while still keeping certain aspects original. In spite of all the predictable ‘nothing is as it seems’ moments, Atomic Blonde remains rather watchable.
Many of the dialogues make you crack up with Theron’s quick-witted delivery of them. The film, however, falls victim to the limitations of its own genre. One of the primary examples of this is in the dialogue again; using a phrase like ‘trust no one’ just doesn’t cut it in the world of good screenwriting.
Angelina Jolie’s Salt can be taken as a basis for comparison with Atomic Blonde, as both films offer a somewhat similar premise. While the former was indeed subpar, employing every cliché in the book, the latter offers hope to the already done-to-death category of filmmaking.
Infused with stylish action sequences, oodles of charisma, apt music, and a leading lady who balances the entire project on the might of her performance, Atomic Blonde will keep you engaged for the most part. You will forgive it for some of its genuine pitfalls, as the pros outweigh the cons in this one.