Even though Atomic Blonde didn't do well during its first couple of weeks in theaters, I believe it will become a sleeper hit once it's out on streaming and Blu-Ray a la Keanu Reeves' John Wick. The film did cement Charlize Theron's place as an action star, which was what she wanted when her production company picked up the rights to The Coldest City, the graphic novel on which the movie is based.
Atomic Blonde is a fun, popcorn thriller that harkens back to the off-the-wall action flicks of the '80's, in particular the Kevin Costner career-booster No Way Out.
Guess I should have said, "Spoilers!" before mentioning Kevin, huh?
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1) Charlize Theron was perfect as the world-weary MI6 agent, Lorraine Broughton. She faces betrayal on every side, especially from her own agency, and manipulates the betrayers in a ballet of deceit.
2) James McAvoy continues to amaze me every time I see him on screen. He has the charisma to make you like and hate him at the same time.
3) The realism of the action rocked. In a martial arts class, we had discussed hand-to-hand combat between men and women, and how to compensate for women's lesser upper body strength than men. Basically, women need to use any weapon they can and be brutal and dirty, or they're going to lose in a straight-up fight. The stunt people and actors used the very techniques we'd discussed to make Lorraine taking out the KGB agents believable.
4) When the film hit a point near the end, I thought all the cool shit was for naught and the film makers would go for the No Way Out ending. They surprised me a little by adding another plot twist in the last seconds of the story.
5) The soundtrack of my formative years!
1) Gratuitous lesbian love scene. Yeah, I know they would have done the same damn thing if Charlize's character was a man, and that's why it pissed me off. Hell, the same shit with Strawberry Fields infuriated me when I was watching Quantum of Solace. It's the fucking 21st century, people!Can't we have a spy do their job without getting some poor innocent schmuck killed?
Overall, Atomic Blonde was a fun "B" movie that I think would have done a little better at the box office during the off-season, instead of the height of the summer blockbuster period. I give a 7.5 out of 10 stars.
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