Atomic Blonde Review
Atomic Blonde is a film with style, great actors and a fun soundtrack, but sadly struggled to get me emotionally invested, making it somewhat bland, all things considered. I am quite shocked I felt this way, as it looked like a really cool movie, with some incredible actors, such as Charlize Theron and James McAvoy. I think the reason why I struggled to get invested in this film was down to the fact it had a very convoluted story, which was lost in the midst of it trying to be this stylish action-flick, therefore making it fairly difficult to breakdown…
Atomic Blonde takes on a storytelling theme that has been used plenty of times before, with the main character, Theron’s Lorraine Broughton, being interviewed/interrogated, and the subject of the interview being the film itself. As the movie continues, it manages to catch-up with the present day, when the interview is taking place. I do enjoy this style of storytelling, but it isn’t anything new. However what was new was the style in which this movie was filmed, and this I do think was very impressive. It had brilliant neon colours up against a very grey Berlin, creating this stunning contrast.
The film is set in Berlin during the Cold War in the late 80’s, a time I was not around for, therefore my knowledge of the period is fairly minimal, which I think may be why I didn’t really connect with this film. MI6 Agent Lorraine Broughton is sent to East Berlin to meet a fellow agent David Percival, played by James McAvoy, who has been living in Berlin for some time now. Their mission is to try and recover a list of double agents, then to, in-turn, reveal the identity of Agent Satchel. Satchel has been selling secrets to the Soviets, allowing Lorraine to assassinate the traitor.
This may seem like a simple story, but sadly the way it is laid out just made it feel so complicated, and unfortunately just made me lose interest quickly, leaving me to enjoy the style of the film alone, which became normal quite fast. Every 20 minutes or so we are introduced to a new character, with no real explanation of their background, all the time adding to the confusion. It started to feel like the characters were being made to serve the story, this being something I’ve never been fond of.
One thing I will take my hat of to was the action. It was raw, gory and really well choreographed. I believe Charlize Theron did most of the stunts in the film, only increasing my respect for her. She is certainly a potential Actor of the Week! There were hints of Jason Bourne in this film, but not so much that it felt like it was copying. Towards the end there is a great fight scene which was incredibly tense, and very realistic.
The composer of the score for this film was by Tyler Bates, but it didn’t really seem like he had much to do, as this movie was more of a soundtrack driven picture, with a wealth of classic 80’s tracks. As much as I love 80’s music, and it being a pleasure to hear these classics, I felt they weren’t well selected to fit the scenes, for example they used Father Figure by George Michael during a fight scene. This for me just took the edge of the incredibly well put together fight. It just seemed like director David Leitch was trying to be different for different's sake.
Atomic Blonde is a film with real style, and some awesome action, but other than this, there isn’t much else to make you feel invested in this film. I do urge anyone to go and see this movie, as I think it is one of those films some people will really enjoy and other’s won’t. Sadly, I fall into the latter, making Atomic Blonde more Atomic Bland for me.
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