Sunday, 13 August 2017

Atomic Blonde Film Review

I saw Atomic Blonde last week, directed by stunt specialist and co-director of John Wick, David Leitch. Starring Charlize Theron as MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton. And Lorraine is a wet dream of a spy, ordering Stoli on ice with a side order of girl-on-girl action.

Lorraine is sent by London boss Toby Jones to Berlin to wrap up the loose ends after her lover is killed in the field. James Gasciogne was betrayed by double agent Satchel while trying to prevent the identities of UK and USA operatives, hidden on microfilm, falling into the KGB's hands. (Satchel made the movies!). But burning their photo is the limit of Lorraine's grief.

The Berlin Wall is close to falling but we're still very much in the Cold War, with a tight and pacy thriller that double and triple crosses you while using anything it can get it's hand on to win.

James McAvoy excels in the role of feral Berlin station chief David Percival. Rescuing Lorraine, who doesn't need rescuing to be honest and does very well with a pre-Louboutin red stiletto. See anything she can get her hands on. Charlize is a revelation in the role. If Cara Delevingne can ever find what fellow ex-model and Oscar winner Charlize Theron has in the acting chops, then she's made it.

Percival is surfing the Berlin underworld while holding onto Spyglass, the defector who originally managed to steal the list and pass it to Gascoigne. Eddie Marsan plays the man with a photographic memory looking to get himself and family to the West after he played out his end of the transaction. A very competent actor who like Toby Jones inhabits these roles perfectly. It's not his fault the list went missing but as he's memorised it the deal's still on.

With those long stocking and suspender clad legs of hers, Lorraine sets out independently to retrieve the missing List, and uncover the identity of Satchel who she has a score to settle with. Sofia Boutella plays French agent Delphine Lasalle and the pair share pillow talk. CIA boss John Goodman wondering whether there are any photos.

So MI6, the CIA, the French and the KGB are in the game and its brutal. The poster above describes the stairwell scene but during the defection scenes with Spyglass, Charlize takes on the KGB, and rarely seen in a Bond movie the fighting is so ferocious they have to take a breather. It looks real and Charlize trained hard to do her own stunts.

Bill Skarsgård was a great assistant to Lorraine, located in Berlin with many associates to help with the safe passage of Spyglass. But I said the film double and triple crosses you, and you'll come out not knowing which way is up. But there are light moments with 99 balloons and David Hasslehoff in the distance when he was big in 80's Germany.

A terrific fast paced movie that demands your undivided attention and even then you'll still wonder what the hell happened.

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