Charlize Theron kicks ass, we all know that. Ever since her performance in Mad Max: Fury Road, people have almost been campaigning to have Theron lead an action film or franchise. Pairing with David Leitch who co-directed the first John Wick film, which Atomic Blonde owes a lot to, Theron certainly packs a punch however, does the film follow suit?
Undercover MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is sent to Berlin to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of every active field agent in the Soviet Union.
Unfortunately I found Atomic Blonde rather disappointing but there’s certainly enough entertainment value left in the film for me to enjoy it. The main problem I had with the film was its narrative, which was far too overstuffed and overcomplicated compared to what it should have been. I just didn’t really care for much of what was going on at all, meaning the action sequences weren’t as impactful as they could have been.
That being said, the action sequences, just like John Wick, are insanely well choreographed and shot. You know it’s really great to have walked out of an action film after knowing exactly who each person was in a fight scene and it not being edited beyond comprehension. I’d heard about the stairwell sequence before seeing the film and it definitely did not disappoint. Filmed in one long take, Lorraine takes on a number of enemies down a flight of stairs before taking it to the roads in a car. It’s breathtakingly shot and the choreography of it all shouldn’t be underestimated because that is not easy to execute. It’s almost worth the admission price alone.
I enjoyed the score and found it to be similar to John Wick, which comes as no surprise seeing as Tyler Bates worked on both films. The soundtrack however I was not such a big fan of, feeling intrusive and random at best, a bit like the songs that were picked in Suicide Squad.
Charlize Theron was a bit of a disappointment for me in Atomic Blonde as well. On one hand she’s incredible at all of the action and delivers plenty of ferocity to the film but on the other hand, I just didn’t find her character very likeable at all, which becomes a bit of an issue for me when watching an action film. James McAvoy felt more like an irritant than a supporting character while Sofia Boutella is utterly wasted as a French agent, disappointing as she’s displayed her skills in action films over the past few years.
While it never quite reaches the quality of either John Wick film, Atomic Blonde is a film that shows Charlize Theron is a genuine action star not to be messed with. If it’s true that Theron sparred with Keanu Reeves while in training then I’d love to see some form of collaboration between the two in the future, something along the lines of Mr & Mrs Smith.
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