• Guy Jeffries

Atomic Blonde Review


Director: David Leitch.

Starring: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, James Faulkner, Sofia Boutella, Bill Skarsgård, Til Schweiger, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson.

Some people have been coining this Jane Wick and understandably so being as director Leitch was an uncredited co-director for the first John Wick film with Chad Stahelski. Theron even trained along side Keanu Reeves during Wick 2, though, it's very doubtful the two characters could ever meet, being from different eras.

This has been a personal project of Theron who's been developing it the last five years, helping produce the flick. She's is obviously a fan of the original source material, being base the 2012 British graphic novel, The Coldest City, written by Anthony Johnston and inked by Sam Hart, about a spy seeking out a list of double agents who are escaping Berlin to the west.

It's set predominantly in the '89 bleak Berlin prior to the Berlin Wall being brought down. British operative, Lorraine Broughton (Theron) is sent to rendezvous with fellow spy David Percival (McAvoy) and retrieve this invaluable list behind it falls into the wrong hands putting every secret agent in extreme and immediate danger. Trust is seldom a quality any spy can rely on and it's obvious things are going to get real complicated and messy before the night is over.

You can certainly see the John Wick template with shooting styles and close combat, but has added dramatics and isn't as deadly. The violence is much there but lacks the body count of a John Wick film. Wait a minute... this isn't a John Wick movie, so apologies for continually comparing. It's just the style is very much similar.

Leitch, a stunt man extraordinaire, provides some amazing action sequences that are fresh, superbly choreographed, captured and stitched together creating an almost perfect seamless masterpieces. He's currently directing Deadpool 2 and did the teaser trailer short No Good Deed with the infamous antihero not quite making it to the rescue.

Theron is brilliant and absolutely stunning, making this her hottest movie yet. It's highly seductive with a few provocative scenes that will raise the temperature in Berlin's November. Her wardrobe is stunning also with costume design being on point. The supporting cast play their parts to a tee, though McAvoy looks like one or two of his personalities from Split.

It's got an amazing soundtrack with many tracks from the era like Falco's Der Kommissar, Peter Schilling's Major Tom - Coming Home, Bowie's Cat People and Depeche Mode's Behind the Wheel. There's also reworked versions of 99 Luftballons and Blue Monday to really suit the film's tone. Tyler Bates, John Wick's composer (at it again) provides a suitable and similar score.

Unfortunately, it gets rather predictable while it tries to be clever about it. Even though there's so much going on with suspicious characters and double-crosses galore, there's also plenty of hints to what is going on, that are probably necessary for continuity. The format and structure reminded me of Spy Game, which is a bad thing.

It's super glossy and atmospheric with a great contrast of bleakness and stylish neon. A sleek, sexy actioner.

Running Time: 8

The Cast: 8

Performance: 8

Direction: 8

Story: 6

Script: 8

Creativity: 9

Soundtrack: 9

Job Description: 9

The Extra Bonus Point: 10 for being a kickass solo debut for Leitch. Looking forward to Deadpool 2.

78% 8/10

#DavidLeitch #CharlizeTheron #JamesMcAvoy #JohnGoodman #TobyJones #EddieMarsan #JamesFaulkner #SofiaBoutella #BillSkarsgård #TilSchweiger #JóhannesHaukurJóhannesson #DanielBernhardt #TylerBates #AnthonyJohnston