The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Theron) is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission. Sent alone into Berlin to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies.
Tomatometer: Critics 75%, Audience 67%,
Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, Eddy Marsan, John Goodman, Toby Jones, Sofia Boutella, Bill Skarsgard, Till Schweiger, Barbara Sukowa … with a cast like this, featuring heavyweights in the film industries of three nations, there is obviously no need to write a great screenplay or pay much attention to the dramaturgy. At least the producers and director of Atomic Blonde were quite obviously sloppy like that.
And unfortunately it shows in the product. 😦
Atomic Blonde suffers from a strange dilemma: It wants to be too much. And it could have been so much more. As a result it failed on both fronts. Because the filmmakers in their eagerness to show off Theron as a coming action star couldn’t decide if Atomic Blonde was going to be a action flick or a spy thriller. In the end it turned out to be neither.
Instead it was a very stylish movie with great action sequences and miserable character development. Which puts a movie squarely into the rare action comedy genre … which is wasn’t either. In fact was Atomic Blonde one of the unfunniest movies ever. It took itself very serious. Set during a time in which the whole of Germany turned into a funhouse and everybody was joking about the stupid behind the moon east Germans, the stupid Hollywoodians tried to create a spy drama.
And to top it all off they failed so hard to recreate both halfs of Berlin, using Budapest, Hungary as a pretty badly suited stand-in. The portrayal of German police was like totally wrong as well. The normal patrol officers wouldn’t engage in a fight with highly trained killers, but backed off and instead radioed in the SEK (German SWAT).
Then on the spy story side the plot was totally convoluted, even though the story was pretty straightforward, just badly told with a lot of unnecessary jumps back and forth and the intruduction and waste of some talented actors. German superstar Till Schweiger was on screen for roundabout 30 seconds but at least he got a small, very small role to play. What Sofia Boutella, as a sexy french spy, had to do with this movie shall forever remain a riddle.
Oh no, wait. I know the reason behind her appearance in this movie: Hollywood needs sexy female leading roles, particularly sexy action stars. Add to that the number one character trait of sexy female action stars and it becomes clear Boutella was hired specifically to become Theron’s lesbian lover.
Isn’t it just too perfect? Almost anime like in spirit and appearance. Only difference is that the Japanese give us little hints here and there but in a multimillion US$ production is no room for such subtleties. If you are a lesbian, you better act like a stark raving mad one!
So what we got from Atomic Blonde was a superficial, over the top, wannabe ambitious B-Movie. Superbly filmed, very pretty and with really good action sequences and … oh yes, did I mention how pretty this movie is? Charlize mostly looks younger than she really is, even beat up and with a black eye, and paired up with Sofia Boutella makes an adorable couple.
Unfortunately is the story not only confusing but also pretty boring and Theron’s character lacks everything a modern heroine needs in character building aspects. Apart from being an over the top lesbo. We honestly couldn’t give less fucks about any character in this movie. We didn’t care if they lived or died. Hubby even said, he would have wished for a very realistic end to the story: Theron’s character should have died in a hail of bullets, instead of doing all the fisticuffs and pub brawls. That’s not how it works in the real world, Hollywood. Brawls are much too messy and take too long. International spies kill with poison or small little handguns, which is much more elegant, quicker, unpersonal and less dangerous for the assassin.
So, yes, Atomic Blonde was a nicely done, very pretty, very modern … stinker of a bad flick. It was a boring, bordering on infuriating, respectless shitshow! Which is a real shame. As so often these days this could have become a very good movie. Atomic Blonde had the right cast and the heart in the right place. But whoever OKed the screenplay will hopefully be fired and never be hired again, and spend the rest of their days underneath a bridge in LA.
But at least we got to marvel at Charlize as the super heroine of the title, right?
Wrong. Her character is so weakly constructed and, although she is in, like, each and every scene throughout the movie and wears the most sexy clothes, stays rather bland and uninteresting. We know nothing about her, we learn nothing about her, she’s reduced to doing her job. She stays an empty page, a hollow shell.
James McAvoy at least packs some punch into his persona, as does Bill Skarsgard in a much smaller role. And that’s not Charlize Theron’s fault, she plays and fights very good. I hear she even did most of her own stunts. But the script just doesn’t give her enough to do to shine and show what a modern female action hero is supposed to be. She’s more or less just the narrator, leading us through a story that is solely about boys. Sorry girly. At least you got to make out with Sofia Boutella. =^.^=
CONCLUSION: 100% fanservice, 50% action, 0% character, this flick was the quintessential millenial movie.
Atomic Blonde was carrying all the right genes for greatness. But then Hollywood happened to it. By now it gets very boring and repetitive how blatantly Hollywood wastes millions and millions of dollars on sub-par products, how they fuck up movie concepts, how they diss great ideas and piss on great actors. Atomic Blonde is no exception to this new rule. Unfortunately. 😦
WATCH IT? Hm, usually at this time I would say NO! Of course. I mean you’ve read my review so what did you expect?
But … but but but … listen. I love Charlize Theron, and who can honestly say they don’t love her? It’s not her fault that Atomic Blonde is such a damp squib. And some scenes are very pretty, the action is amazing and … come on, who doesn’t wanna see Charlize and Sofia making out, eh?
So, yes, go watch it.
WHAT THE YT REVIEWERS HAVE TO SAY:
Ladies playing leading roles, so lady Alachia will be leading the critics squad:
After Alachia of course we must hear lady Grace’s expert, but too positive, opinion:
… and Jeremy:
A very fanboy-ish review by IGN:
To end it all we have a mixed team:
And for all who were patient enough to stick with Orca until so far down, I have a little something for you …
=^.^= Meow! =^.^=