Cast: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy
Direction: David Leitch
Prouder: Charlize Theron, Beth Kono, A. J. Dix, Kelly McCormick, Eric Gitter, Peter Schwerin
Written: Kurt Johnstad
Genre: Action/ Thriller
Duration: 115 Mins*
2017 has seen quite a few strong female characters in movies. Here’s another kickass character to add to the list. Atomic blonde is directed by one of the John Wick directors, David Leitch and stars Charlize Theron and James McAvoy. The movie is based on the graphic novel titled ‘The Coldest City’, by Antony Johnson and Sam Hart. When news broke that Leitch is directing Charlize in an action spy thriller, I was pretty stoked. I mean, Charlize is amazing in almost every role she’s in, besides she was pretty Badass in Mad Max: Fury Road. Moreover, Leitch is going to direct the upcoming Deadpool 2 film. Eagerness aside, this movie is stylish, sleek, fun and the action is quite good. Not better than John Wick but cool enough to make you go ‘whoa’ numerous times.
Charlize Theron plays a spy named Lorraine Broughton, a MI6 agent who is interrogated about her exploits in Berlin during the end of the cold war. Most of the movie flashbacks to what happened during her mission in Berlin. Lorrain is a cold and cunning operative who is an expert in hand-to-hand combat. Charlize is well cast as the chain-smoking, dapper heroine who just loves to use any object she finds in a fistfight to fling or stab someone with it. Theron brings a sense of class, sass and fire to the role. In other words she’s a combination of Bourne and Bond. McAvoy on the other hand, is great in all of the scenes he’s in. The side characters like John Goodman were solid too. Although, Sofia Boutella’s character was not fascinating enough, her character played no more than a damsel in distress. The movie falls short of great because it takes itself way too seriously than it actually is. The cinematography and visuals give out a more playful tone but the characters play it serious. Nevertheless, the atmosphere and the world the director creates is eye catching. The addition of punk rock classics by Depeche Mode, Clash, Nena and George Michael gives the movie a nostalgic 80’s impression.
With yet another strong female lead on the big screen, Hollywood seems to be breaking the taboo of ‘heroines can’t lead an action film’. Earlier, the only A-list female lead seemed to be Angelina Jolie. After the recent success of Wonder Woman, the film industry is starting to remedy the lack of female driven movies. Sigorney Weaver’s Ripley in Aliens was probably the first woman to break the stereotype and since then we’ve never had a successful continuity of girl power at the movies. The demand for a Furiousa spin-off after the highly acclaimed Mad Max movie in 2015 is additional proof that the audiences want to see strong female leads. This is a great year for women and it continues to get better each year, with female driven Marvel and DC films down the pipeline.
Atomic Blonde takes you on a rollercoaster ride from complex plot twists to terrific action sequences. The director choses a very stylistic quick cut narrative structure for most of the scenes (Guy Richie approach) and leaves continuous long shots during fight scenes (like in John Wick). The blend of fast and convoluted storytelling coupled with Charlize’s badassery makes this a fun thrill ride from start to finish.