As the super butt kicking agent that headlines ‘Atomic Blonde’, it’s only natural that Charlize Theron be labelled as a female James Bond. But be warned, this is a very, very different animal.
Oh, she kills, she seduces (babes, no less), but there’s a ruthlessness to ‘Atomic Blonde’ that has never seeped into 007 fare. Such unapologetic bloodshed is really more Bourne than Bond – and even then, this character sports a mean streak that puts her into a category all her own. And it won’t be everyone’s cup of British tea.
Based on a graphic novel….i.e., it’s another excessively violent comic book movie….the plot for ‘Atomic Blonde’ unfolds in 1989 Germany, where the Berlin Wall is being taken down. While the world is watching this chapter of history unfold, a cluster of spies from multiple countries use Berlin as a battleground. Lorraine Broughton (Theron), a top agent with M16, is sent to West Germany to work with David Percival (James McAvoy), an unbalanced tough guy so deep undercover, you’re often left wondering if he even has a true identity anymore.
The duo are tasked with recovering a list that, in the wrong hands, means curtains for good guy spies everywhere. And with the stakes so high, there’s a brawl/shootout around every corner, with the killer in high heels givin’ as good as she gets.
Director David Leitch has exhibited his flair for bone crunching mayhem with the ‘John Wick’ series – and his biggest gift is probably spitting out a furious and enjoyable action flick that doesn’t exactly boast a smart script. Well, same deal here. Oh, ‘Atomic Blonde’ has its twists and turns, but is still more icing than cupcake. The soundtrack, a buffet of alt-pop 80’s tunes, carries the true personality of the project…I mean, if you don’t enjoy the sight of Charlize Theron viciously beat up a throng of German cops to the beat of George Michael’s ‘Father Figure’, then this really, really isn’t the film for you.