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Atomic Blonde

Now showing: An American action spy thriller

At a time where females are demanding more power, respect and equal rights in the movie industry, women all over are sure to be proud of Charlize Theron for holding her own and making jaws drop in David Leitch’s Atomic Blonde.

Not only does the actress, whose appearance is completely apt for the action flick, star in the movie as MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton, but she also produces it, and was apparently keen to make every scene as authentic as possible, even if that did mean getting battered and bruised.

Based on Antony Johnston and Sam Hart's graphic novel The Coldest City, Atomic Blonde is set in dreary Berlin during the Cold War, in the lead up to the demolition of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

Lorraine is first introduced in an interrogation room being quizzed by MI6 boss Eric Gray (Toby Jones) and CIA Agent Emmett Kurzfeld (John Goodman) about her mission in the German capital, where she was sent to recover an important list that was stolen by agent James Gasciogne (stuntman Sam Hargrave). The list could potentially extend the ongoing conflict by revealing the names of every single active field agent in the Soviet Union, so it’s vital Lorraine retrieve it.

She’s also been tasked with uncovering the identity of and assassinating double agent Satchel, the person who betrayed James and led him to his death.

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To help her along the way is Berlin station chief David Percival (James McAvoy), who has agreed to escort a defector known as Spyglass (Eddie Marsan) who stole and memorised the list to West Berlin, though things quickly fail to add up for Lorraine.

It seems every step she takes is being monitored and when she falls into the bed of undercover French agent Delphine Lasalle (Sofia Boutella), the atomic blonde slowly realises her suspicions are real.

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Theron’s aesthetic screams butt-kicking femme fatal with her bleached hair, sexy yet practical outfits and sunglasses, giving 007 a run for his money, but she’s somewhat missing the personality to make her a truly unstoppable female lead. Sure, she can pull the moves (and boy, does she impress in the fight scenes), however there’s a little too much swearing and not enough depth to her dialogue.

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McAvoy has proved he’s able to play edgier characters in recent years and following praise for films including Filth and Split, his turn in Atomic Blonde continues his impressive streak, while Boutella is also showing she’s a versatile star, putting on an enchanting and vulnerable performance as Delphine.

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The music keeps up the ’80s vibe throughout, with one memorable moment being when Lorraine battles off several men set on killing her to the background music of George Michael’s Father Figure – an unusual choice which really pays off.

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Although slightly serious and a little complicated to follow at times, Atomic Blonde is full of energy and excitement which makes almost two hours go by in the blink of an eye.

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