Movie Review: ‘Atomic Blonde’

by Staff Reporter / Aug 02, 2017 / comments

Movie Review: ‘Atomic Blonde’

By Cynthia Z. Biddlecomb “Cinema Cindy”

“Atomic Blonde” may not have a totally coherent plot at its core, but the movie is basically entertaining.

Based on a graphic novel entitled “The Coldest City”, the film wants to be a cult classic, an effort that fails. Instead, it offers a kickass MI-6 spy named Lorraine Broughton, played by Charlize Theron, who gets to wear great outfits, smoke like a chimney, and take down a lot of bad guys.

Courtesy image

The framework of the film is Lorraine, reporting to her “superiors” (played by Toby Jones, John Goodman and James Faulkner) the story of what went wrong. Her mission was to recover a list of intelligence agents before it fell into the hands of eastern powers. Only her expertise in the martial arts and in the use of weapons, keeps her alive. She is attacked at every turn, even as she outsmarts most of the men in the film. Despite these successes, she appears in a bathtub full of ice water soaking bashes and bruises over the whole geography of her body.

The irony of the story is that, Soviet and British agents were killing each other in East and West Berlin over a list of Cold War spies, even as an uprising is bringing that same Cold War to an end. Oblivious to the peaceful, world-changing events taking place in Berlin, the spies keep looking for each other and the list. A humorous voiceover at the beginning of the film tells you this movie is not about those historic events, which successfully ended Soviet reign in Eastern Europe. Throughout the film, peaceful protests are the backdrop, just outside the window.

Lorraine’s superiors in London are interrogating her because she lost both “the asset” and her partner in Berlin. The spy list, secreted in the back of a man’s watch, was taken off the body of Lorraine’s old flame, a fellow British agent.

The Soviet agent who killed him decides to go rogue and sell it. Meanwhile, a former Stasi officer hopes to use the fact that he memorized the list to get himself and his family smuggled out of East Berlin. (Had they only waited a few days… but I digress.) Stalking Lorraine is a French agent, played by Algerian actress, Sophia Boutella. TO make matters worse, Loraine’s MI6 contact in Berlin, David Percival, played by James McAvoy, seems to be working at cross-purposes to their mission.

Perhaps in her grief over losing her old flame, or in the desperate loneliness only spies can feel (unable to trust anyone), Lorraine accepts the advances of the French agent. The movie’s “R” rating is appropriate, due to a fairly explicit love scene between the two women, and the never-ending violence Lorraine faces. This definitely is not a film for children or teenagers.

So why go see this film? Maybe you like stories about spies, or badass women, or just prefer mindless violence. This is not a great film for erudite movie-watchers. But it would satisfy those who just need an action flick to entertain them