Weekly Movie Review: Atomic Blonde

Atomic Blonde: Plenty of action, a ton of fun

In a year marked by several superhero movies, sequels and for the most part, terrible comedies, one could begin to examine this year’s releases and spot noticeable themes and trends. Certainly one of those more prominent themes would be that of the strong, independent female. Everything from comedies like Snatched, Rough Night and Girls Trip to the sci-fi action flick Ghost in the Shell and likely this year’s most pleasant surprise, Wonder Woman, have featured women in prominent, even different roles. This past weekend saw a release that only helped to further that very noticeable 2017 film trend.

Set in 1980s Berlin, just days prior to the collapse of the wall, Atomic Blonde is the story of Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron), an undercover MI6 agent. Broughton is sent to Berlin days after her fellow agent is brutally murdered to investigate the vicious crime. However, soon after arriving in Germany’s capital city, Broughton’s life is soon in peril. Attempts are made on her life from people of all ways, shape, sizes, belief systems and political affiliations, basically right after she steps off the plane.

What she soon realizes is that there is the presence of a list of 20 powerful names that could damage reputations, send high-ranking officials to prison and significantly alter the course of history. Needless to say, obtaining this list becomes top priority for Broughton. Looking to get some assistance in her quest, Broughton reluctantly strikes up a love-hate relationship with MI6 informant/ally, David Percival (James McAvoy). Things quickly go from bad to worse to even worse yet for Broughton and Percival as the body count begins to rapidly pileup.

Beginning off a tad slow, Atomic Blonde swiftly builds to an adrenaline-pumping level that essentially never lets up. The action scenes come as fast and as furious as the punches and body blows Broughton delivers to fend off one would be attacker after another. While the story may have been a little been there done that, the 1980s stylistic set design, the toe-tapping soundtrack and Theron’s thoroughly enjoyable performance as the blonde femme fatale more than make up for the somewhat mundane and weak story.

Really, the only minor flaw is the at times, over-the-top, ridiculous action sequences. On more than one occasion, characters take beating after beating and still continue to get back up seeking more pain and suffering, long after any other character should have been dead. Again, this is a rather minor complaint of an otherwise enjoyable flick.

Atomic Blonde is a highly stylistic, ode to the 1980s, featuring plenty of violence, action, mayhem and the always-reliably good Charlize Theron. Plenty of action and a ton of fun. 4 out of 5.