Atomic Blonde – Charlize Theron shines as a badass action hero in an underwhelming film

Posted on 28 August 2017
By Roisin Gordon
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A cool 80’s setting, badass action hero and awesome fight scenes sounds like everything you’d need for a great action film, but sadly not even Charlize Theron’s talents could save this film from boredom.

Based on the graphic novel The Coldest City, the story follows MI6 Agent, Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road), who is sent on a mission to Berlin during the Cold War, where she must recover a missing list of double agents and investigate the murder of her fellow agent James Gascoigne (Sam Hargrave).

If you thought you were getting a fun and gripping action-packed film, then you will probably be disappointed. Not to say that it’s a terrible film, there are some good moments but the story just lets the film down by dragging out in most places, which considering the the plot seemed to have promise and included a twist ending you’d think that they’d do all they can to keep you interested.

The action sequences are very stylistic and thrilling and makes good use of shaky camera movements, that make you feel like you’ve been thrown in amongst the action. It really compliments the production design and colour palette especially with its 80’s setting, although it probably had more effort put into that rather than to keep the story entertaining.

From the bleak and depressed wartime era of Berlin, to the stylish and brightly coloured club scenes, they do manage to make it rather nice to look at.

Asides from the action scenes, the only interesting parts are the interrogation scenes between Lorraine and her superior and CIA agents, which are shown throughout the film but at times it struggled to weave them both together. They do manage to keep you in suspense about the character of Lorraine and the twist ending, especially when they make you unsure of who to side with and who the bad guy really is.

The main standout of the film was Charlize Theron, she performed her action scenes and most of her own stunts so effortlessly, including one scene where she performs her fight scene with a water hose to help her take out the bad guys. She also gave Lorraine that quick witted and intelligent edge that just made her entertaining to watch, although at times they do seem to sexualise her character which wasn’t necessary.

James McAvoy was equally as entertaining to watch as David Percival, the station chief who is allied with Lorraine and made a great foil for Theron’s character. Whilst he’s just as tough and quick witted as she is, he does inject some comic relief into the action flick through his eccentric and roguish personality.

Although the the performances from it’s two leads and the action scenes are a fun watch, the story just doesn’t have much to offer.

Purple Revolver Rating: 3.5/5- Not quite an atomic bomb of thrills.