Female-oriented action thrillers seem to be currently taking over the film industry, and Atomic Blonde definitely adds to the kick-ass women era. With all of the action movies that center around a buff, tough guy as the center role, it’s a breath of fresh air to have films such as The Hunger Games, Wonder Woman, and Kill Bill. However, with this one, it doesn’t seem to give us the same hype and thrill as others do.
Charlize Theron plays Lorraine Broughton, an undercover agent who is sent out to investigate the murder of another agent during the Cold War. She is forced to track down a secret list of double agents while kicking ass and staying alive, whatever it takes. She partners up with David Percival, played by James McAvoy. The whole mission is more personal than it seems, since the agent that was killed was her lover.
The performances are decent, but none of the actors were given enough material to roll with, especially Charlize. The director didn’t give her character much emotion, leaving us a bland character to not care about. It was expected that Lorraine would be on a revenge mission, since her lover was murdered, much like Tarantino’s Kill Bill. But, it seemed as though she was just going through the motions of her job rather than trying to extract her revenge.
What unfortunately drags this film down even more, is its screenplay. There was clearly a lot of thought put into it, but it was not executed well. The way they tell the story (You’ll know what I’m talking about if you see it) ruins the outcome, and gets rid of any sense of thrill or mystery. We’re not made to care about the characters, therefore not caring about the outcome, which makes this film only enjoyable for the action. If there was more to the plot, more information on the characters and more emotion overall, this film would have made for the perfect summer blockbuster.
What makes Atomic Blonde somewhat redeemable is its electrifying action and style. It’s pretty thrilling to watch, even though most of it was already shown in the trailer. The trailer showed us a bit of every awesome scene, which took away the a bi9t of wow factor. Although, this doesn’t completely ruin it since the violence is exhilarating and over the top. There is one sequence in particular that stands out as the best. Without spoiling anything, it is a ten-minute long shot, that follows her kicking ass and taking names. If I were to watch this movie again, it would be for that scene. Along with the action, this movie is incredibly stylish. The visuals, along with the exciting soundtrack, make the viewing experience more entertaining.
Atomic Blonde is not a bad film. It can be enjoyable if you want to see men get their faces smashed by random objects. That’s part of what makes this film respectable, but it’s nowhere near as amazing as it could have been.
Overall Grade: C-