Published on January 3rd, 2018 | by Richard Boom0
Review: Atomic Blonde
Atomic Blonde is an American spy action thriller film directed by David Leitch and written by Kurt Johnstad. It is based on Antony Johnston’s 2012 graphic novel The Coldest City, which revolves around a spy who has to find a list of double agents who are being smuggled into the West. The film stars Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Eddie Marsan, Sofia Boutella, and Toby Jones.
The film takes place in Berlin, 1989, on the eve of the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the shifting of superpower alliances. Lorraine Broughton, a top-level spy for MI6, is dispatched to Berlin to take down a ruthless espionage ring that has just killed an undercover agent for reasons unknown. She is ordered to cooperate with Berlin station chief David Percival, and the two form an uneasy alliance, unleashing their full arsenal of skills in pursuing a threat that jeopardizes the West’s entire intelligence operation.
It is based on Antony Johnston’s (art by Sam Hart) 2012 graphic novel The Coldest City (yes, that means a COMIC!!) The Coldest City, as published via Oni Press.
The film is brutal, honest and the main character of Lorraine is determined, skilled and still has a moral compass which clashes with the Berlin station chief David Percival at more times then either would like. The way the story revolves around moral dilemma’s, the decay of society but also the intense character development is strong. It makes for much more then just an action-movie, for sure.
Charlize Theron is creating a character with Lorraine, which is both badass but also vulnerable, both physically and mentally. The fact that she can beat someone to pulp is a cool given, but the way the story shows her bruises makes her more human then the superhero-actionhero we are commonly being served.
James McAvoy’s character of Percival is one with many layers. Percival is shown as a complex persona who has been living in the stench of undercover work for too long, making him stink in more ways then one.
The ‘trust no one’ motive in a movie is well-known since the Daniel Craig version of James Bond, the Mission Impossible and especially the Bourne-franchise and works in this movie even better due to the placement in time and space, setting up shop in Berlin right during the Fall of the Wall. This extra background narrative adds even more depth and intensity to the overall feel of the movie.
Do not expect any laughter or oneliners like with the DieHard-franchise but expect a really intense action-movie with great performances by the all-star cast!