Atomic Blonde – Film Review

Rating : 2.5 / 5 stars

What’s it about?
Atomic Blonde is the film adaptation of the graphic novel by the same name and is directed by David Leitch. It stars Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, Sofia Boutella and John Goodman among others.

The film is set in 1980’s Berlin during the end of the cold war and follows MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton who has been tasked with investigating the murder of a fellow spy officer and recover a list of double agents that has gone missing, a list which in the wrong hands can result in catastrophe. Not sure about who can be trusted, Lorraine must risk her life to find this list and uncover the identity of a traitor within MI6 who is always one step ahead of her and has been selling information to the Russians.
Will she be able to recover the list? Will she find the mole? These are some of the questions that the film tackles during its runtime.

What’s Good?
Coming from the co director of John Wick, the action sequences are shot very stylishly and choreographed very well. The car chases and hand to hand combat sequences keep the viewer glued to the screen. Special mention has to be made for an almost ten minute action sequence that feels like it has been shot in a single take on the stairway of an abandoned building. This is probably the best action sequence on film in recent memory.
The cinematography and art design in the film is very good. Cold War era Berlin has been recreated well and the color palate used here makes the film look very stylish.

Whats Not?
While the action in the film is good, the story is very simplistic and lacks the intrigue that a good spy thriller deserves. The screenplay tries to be clever in order to infuse some energy into the proceedings but succeeds only marginally. Most of the plot twists can be guessed before hand, including the big climactic twist. And speaking of the climax, it is disappointing to see the film squander whatever goodwill it had mustered up till that point by finishing on a cheesy, groan inducing B movie note, with the twist thrown in for the sake of a twist.

Performances
Charlize Theron who is in almost every frame of the film is absolutely awesome. As a cold war era spy she brings a sense of mystery and ruthlessness to her character. James McAvoy gets to showcase his range as an actor and steals every scene he is in. Sofia Boutella is good in her role but one feels that she is underused. John Goodman and Toby Jones are in the movie for about five scenes and are completely wasted. Rest of the cast is decent in their small roles.

Final Word
A middling spy thriller with some great action sequences, this film is a one time watch for action movie fans.


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