Thursday, August 17, 2017
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Movie Reviews

Posted at: Aug 11, 2017, 7:31 PM; last updated: Aug 11, 2017, 7:31 PM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW: THE ATOMIC BLONDE

Savage & sensual

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Film: The Atomic Blonde

  • Cast: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Sofia Boutella, Til Schweiger, Daniel Bernhardt, James Faulkner, Eddie Marsan, Bill Skarsgård, Barbara Sukowa, Toby Jones
  • Director: David Leitch
Savage & sensual
A still from The Atomic Blonde

Johnson Thomas

This brutal spy thriller has the comic book character Atomic Blonde a.k.a British Spy, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) sent to Berlin a few days before the Wall is set to come down, to retrieve a priceless dossier. She is supposed to partner with maverick MI6 agent David Percival (James McAvoy) but upon her arrival everything looks pretty much dicey, leading to double and triple crosses that come unstuck only in the final climactic reel.

Theron lends insight and sleek power to her role as the indefatigable spy who outsmarts and outfights all her opponents to get to the coveted prize. Lorraine comes across as truly mysterious, highlighted by silver grey camera filters and blue lighting while guzzling her favourite drink, vodka on the rocks, in truly abandoned abundance. Theron is the heart of the film.

Her commanding presence lights up the narrative lending depth and dimension to a film that has little to say but much to show. Theron, in fact, makes it so believable that even the narrative convolutions highlighting smart mechanics don’t seem obvious or ingratiating.

Music sourced from 80’s and 90’s lend teeth to the turbulence within. The highlight action sequence of the movie involves Lorraine tracking a group of killers into a movie theater showing Andrei Tarkovsky's 1979 science fiction drama, Stalker, then sneaks into the area behind the screen and is ultimately kicked right through it.

That oblique reference to The Zone that spies like Lorraine and Percival inhabit where everything goes and everything can kill you is emblematic of Tarkovsky’s creation. The action is terrifyingly brutal and Theron is supremely with it. Her glare alone could turn you to ice and her action chops are meant to kill.  

Based on Anthony Johnston’s graphic novel, this film winds itself around like a le Carré, Len Deighton novel and there’s enough style and stuffing to make it a tasty looking treat. James McAvoy lends able support to Theron and together they make this a spectacle worth getting hung over about!

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