Atomic Blonde – Film Review

David Leitch, who began his Hollywood career as a stuntman and extra, has managed to climb the ranks from being the second director of “John Wick” to finally embarking on his first solo directorial endeavor. Director David Leitch, having gained substantial experience with “John Wick,” made his first solo choice from Antony Johnston and Sam Hart’s 2012 comic book “The Coldest City.” In order to bring this comic book to life, which bears a resemblance to a female version of John Wick but is more grounded in design and set in the contemporary world, director David Leitch and Charlize Theron have dedicated almost years of their lives. Has their years of hard work paid off? Undoubtedly.

Let’s briefly delve into the plot… The film, set in Berlin in 1989 when the city was divided into East and West, focuses on the agents within the city. In the chaos of East-West Berlin, a mysterious figure has compiled a list of all existing agents. Naturally, upon learning this, other agents immediately set out to track down the list. If the KGB finds the names on the list, it means an extension of the Cold War. If found by MI6, it means a quicker resolution to everything. MI6 and the CIA have stationed numerous agents in Berlin, but to solve the problem, they choose Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) and send her to the region to find the list. They also require her to work in conjunction with another MI6 agent, David Percival (James McAvoy). However, things spiral out of control as soon as Lorraine arrives in Berlin.

Atomic Blonde

The film has many commonalities and connections with the “John Wick” series. After all, both films belong to the same director, David Leitch. Having incorporated everything he learned from “John Wick,” David Leitch has applied it in “Atomic Blonde.” Neon lights, aesthetic shots, and remarkable fight sequences abound. Despite being his first solo directorial effort, Leitch has given the film such an aesthetic appeal that it can be considered a technical masterpiece. This contributes to building high expectations for David Leitch’s future endeavors. Another connection to “John Wick” is that Charlize Theron received fight training alongside Keanu Reeves on the set of “John Wick 2.” The slight resemblance in their fighting techniques is likely derived from this. Like Lorraine, who enjoys incapacitating her opponents, her technique actually resembles Jackie Chan’s fighting style more than John Wick’s. Similar to Chan, Lorraine uses whatever she can find as a weapon, successfully turning all the small and large objects around her into deadly tools.

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When the trailer for “Atomic Blonde” was released, I thought a new Jason Bourne or John Wick was about to be born, but I must admit I was mistaken. The character Lorraine, portrayed by Charlize Theron, lacks much depth compared to characters in other films. The comic book plays a significant role in this. While the names Bourne and Wick evoke panic, no one even knows Lorraine’s real name. She is a classic covert agent. Furthermore, the fact that the story is based on actual history also affects the character’s depth. If the series is to continue and they aim to surpass the first film, they need to add more depth to the Lorraine character and focus more on her purpose in life.

Charlize Theron dedicated almost five years to her character. She even sacrificed two of her teeth during the shoot because she did not use a stunt double in the action scenes. She displays an incredible performance in “Atomic Blonde,” having become more adept and motivated in the realm of action since “Mad Max: Fury Road.” While the film is intriguing in terms of its story, Charlize Theron is undeniably the driving force of the film. Particularly, the action scenes in the film are of such high quality that they can rival, or even surpass, their counterparts. The fight scenes within an apartment are some of the most realistic and impressive choreographies captured in recent years.

Atomic Blonde

The film’s cinematography and action are matched by its outstanding soundtrack. The selection of music from the 1970s and 80s imparts a bone-chilling coldness to the film, and it stands as the sole detail that colors the experience. In an era where Hollywood’s nostalgia trend continues, “Atomic Blonde” can be considered one of the films with the best soundtrack.

In conclusion… “Atomic Blonde” is a film that may progress slowly but is more than satisfied with its cinematography and action sequences. Those expecting another Bourne or Wick may be disappointed, but those who appreciate the secrecy and gravitas of spy films will undoubtedly love it. Charlize Theron has poured her soul into the character of Lorraine, delivering a legendary performance. Particularly, the choreography team’s decision to prolong the fight scenes makes the film more realistic. While not everyone may have enjoyed “Atomic Blonde” as much as I did, I found it to be a highly aesthetic and enjoyable film when I watched it in 2017.

Cast & Crew

director: David Leitch

writers: Kurt Johnstad

starring: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Eddie Marsan, Toby Jones, Til Schweiger, Sofia Boutella



Ukrainian Creative Director | Motion Picture Writer | Horror Freak

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