Movie Review: Atomic Blonde

Movie Review: Atomic Blonde
Atomic Blonde reminded me of the TV show Alias (2001-06), one of my all-time favorite TV shows, except that it's set in Berlin right before the Berlin wall was removed, circa late 1989. Because of that, you won't find high-tech gadgets here; however, the movie (and Charlize Theron) have such great action scenes that they're not needed.

The film starts at the end: Lorraine (Theron) is being debriefed by her superiors, Eric (Toby Jones) and Emmett (John Goodman) about her time in Berlin. Technically, the movie is told in flashbacks, then, although it doesn't seem like it. Lorraine, an undercover MI6 agent, recalls how she arrived in Berlin and the KGB had already "made" her (they picked her up at the airport, under false pretenses), and how she later met up with Percival (James McAvoy), her real contact, and they carried out the mission from there. Things aren't all that they seem, though, and Lorraine soon figures out that there's a mole who must be stopped.

This movie looked like it was going to be good, and then it went and exceeded my expectations. Theron is absolutely kickass in the film, and her supporting cast is great as well, including Goodman, McAvoy, Sofia Boutella (as a French agent), and others. The film is based on the graphic novel The Coldest City, by Antony Johnston, and I'd be curious to read that now. Because the movie is set in the '80s, as you may expect, the soundtrack was on-point, too—I recognized "99 Red Balloons" although in another language (most likely German) as well as other classic '80s songs.

Yes, definitely see this movie, and see it in the theater to get the full experience. The cinematography practically demands it: it's a washed-out gray palette, yet Theron always manages to pop on the screen with colorful jackets and other outfits (stiletto heels, anyone?). I would definitely see a sequel if it was made: technically, everything wraps up at the end, but it's possible they could always do a second movie. Make sure to stay until the very end, before the credits, as well, since the ending may surprise you.

Atomic Blonde
is in theaters today, July 28th, and is rated R with a runtime of 115 minutes. 4.5 stars out of 5.

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