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Friday
Jul282017

BOND. JANE BOND // A FILM REVIEW OF "ATOMIC BLONDE"

BY MATEO MORENO

For years now, people have been clamoring for a female James Bond. Well look no further. ATOMIC BLONDE has arrived. Based on the Graphic Novel The Coldest City written by Anthony Johnston and illustrated by Sam Hart, Atomic follows Lorraine Broughton, an American spy working for M16. The backdrop is set against the end of the Cold War in 1989. We begin with Broughton being interviewed by her commanding officer (Toby Jones), the CIA chief (John Goodman), and a member of M16 (James Faulkner). She's covered in bruises, battered but cool as a cucumber. She tells her crazy tale to them which, as the best spy thrillers do, has many twists and turns. She arrives and is immediately ambushed before meeting a David Percival (James McAvoy), a British Spy. There's a informant named Spyglass (Eddie Marsan) who wants to get a one way ticket out of Berlin for him and his family. There's a French Spy Delphine (Sofia Boutella) that may become more than just a contact. The Berlin Wall is about to come crashing down and there's a mole within the ranks. But before she figures it out, everything around her will come crashing down with the wall in a very frenzied and stylish way.

Director David Leitch (John Wick, Deadpool 2) aims to make this stylish thriller a female "John Wick meets Bond" and for the most part he succeeds. But the plot and script does get bogged down in a few too many confusing or layer upon layer moments. But his eye knows stunts (he himself also being a stuntman) and the action is beautifully chaotic and thrilling to watch. However, the real reason to see Atomic is Charlize Theron. She elevates every scene from beyond a stylish thriller into something with more heart, with more soul. She also knows how to throw a punch and kick, as is very evident in her stunt scenes (which she performs most of). She's a badass but one who's not a Terminator killing machine. She can, and does, get hurt. She makes the right and wrong decisions. And her magnetism is magnetic. She shares great chemistry with both McAvoy and Boutella and even when the film falters her commitment with confusing arcs, she pulls us back in with her commitment and presence. ATOMIC BLONDE is a stylistic, non-stop action thrill ride. Earlier I said she is the female James Bond but I now correct myself. She's one better than that. She's Lorraine Broughton, and her performance is a damn original one.

 

MATEO'S GRADE: B

Based on the Graphic Novel "The Coldest City" by Antony Johnston and Sam Hart Screenplay by Kurt Johnstead Directed by David Leitch Starring Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Toby Jones, Sophia Boutella Now Playing in Theatres Everywhere

 

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