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Movie Review: Atomic Blonde

Updated on July 28, 2017
Joseph Lawrence profile image

Joseph Lawrence (25) grew up in the New York area and is a recent college grad in Film Studies. He is a huge film buff and loves horror!

Atomic Blonde critics' poster
Atomic Blonde critics' poster

Atomic Blonde

Based off the graphic novel The Coldest City by Antony Johnston, Focus Features' Atomic Blonde is a spy thriller directed by David Leitch and written by Kurt Johnstad. Charlize Theron, plays Lorraine Broughton an intelligence officer for the British government. Aiding her on her missions is James McAvoy who plays David Percival, a mysterious Berlin station chief whom Lorraine forms an uneasy alliance with. He is to provide her with intelligence and assistance in the vast unknowns of 1989 East and West Berlin. With the Berlin Wall on the verge of collapse, Lorraine, the cool but ruthless spy, now has to answer to her superiors when it comes to what transpired on that fateful night.

Atomic Blonde poster by Ed Griffin
Atomic Blonde poster by Ed Griffin | Source

The 80's

The film is an homage to not only spy films but 80's culture. The graphics depicted in the film are eye-popping, bright and colorful. The film's soundtrack which is heavily inspired by the 80's includes bands such as Depeche Mode and A Flock of Seagulls. The musical playlist includes other 80's bands as well and remixes to songs such as "Personal Jesus" in order to fit the moments of the film.

Charlize Theron (Lorraine Broughton) kicking ass.
Charlize Theron (Lorraine Broughton) kicking ass.

Action-Spy Thriller

Surprisingly, the film is light on the espionage and heavily focused on the action. Gadget use is brought down to a minimum. This may be a pretty big deal for some. The majority of the conclusions made throughout the film are done through brute force. Raw, unadulterated and bloody fights that are drawn out and awesome. If you're looking for the quintessential spy film, then this isn't it. Atomic Blonde glorifies its action and doesn't sacrifice its exhilarating moments for the more discreet and technological moments. Don't get me wrong, there is espionage but not in the same light of other spy movies out there.

Charlize Theron (Lorraine Broughton) and James McAvoy (David Percival)
Charlize Theron (Lorraine Broughton) and James McAvoy (David Percival)

Twists and Turns

This spy film is fresh with its 80's culture and ruthless brand of action, but it still embodies the traditions of the spy genre such as the many twists and turns. There are times when the movie will be going in one direction, only for it to switch up in the next act. After all, what good spy film has a predictable outcome? Not only will the tone change from 80's to serious espionage, but the plot itself will transform into something else entirely. Pay close attention to the dialogue or else you will find yourself lost by the film's third act.

Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) and Sofia Boutella (Delphine Lasalle).
Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) and Sofia Boutella (Delphine Lasalle).

To Conclude

Atomic Blonde takes everything you know about spy movies and turns it on its head because it is a stylish, action-packed slugfest. Charlize Theron and James McAvoy acting is top notch and the chemistry is great. The make-up is fascinating. Sofia Boutella who's role is to play the sexy French operative (Delphine Lasalle) is not only great eye candy but adds to the film by giving the plot it's seductive flair. Overall, the movie is exceedingly entertaining and pleasing to watch. It's not James Bond with the gadgets, but it's still overly satisfying in what it serves up. There Definitely, give this one a watch.

Atomic Blonde is currently in theaters.


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    • Joseph Lawrence profile imageAUTHOR

      Joseph Lawrence 

      15 months ago from New York, New York

      Thank you for reading!

    • Joseph Lawrence profile imageAUTHOR

      Joseph Lawrence 

      15 months ago from New York, New York

      Thank you for reading!

    • mygoblin profile image

      Shey Saints 

      15 months ago from Philippines

      I've always loved Charlize so I will definitely watch this movie! Your review is super helpful. thanks!

    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 

      15 months ago from Louisiana, USA

      I have been reading mixed reviews about this film. However, your review puts more persuasion into seeing it. I still think I will wait until this movie comes out on Netflix, but I do want to see this film more now. Thank you for sharing.


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