Atomic Blonde

‘Atomic Blonde’ — the title apparently borrowed from the song Blondie by the group Atomic– is an out-and-out one woman show. Its 1989, before the Berlin wall is set to come crumbling down. MI6 undercover agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is sent to Berlin for a two-fold reason—to probe the death of an MI6 agent and to retrieve the List: an entire listing of double agents operating from the West.  The film opens with the agent Gasciogne (Sam Hargrave) being brutally killed in Berlin by a Russian spy — savagely crushed between two cars before being shot in the head. Of course, his wristwatch which contained the list in the form of a micro-film is stolen before the body is dumped into the river.
Broughton’s only contact in Berlin is the local station Chief, David Percival (James McAvoy). The svelte MI6 agent, soon after landing in Berlin, discovers that her identity is compromised and has to literally kick-ass her way through multiple wannabe assassins. Atomic Blonde is three-fourths action, stylized and top-class, though after a while one loses track of the body count. It’s not all action though– there’s a young spy, Delphine (Sofia Boutella) who knows the dark secrets of Percival and who gets into a relationship with Broughton.  Based on the 2012 graphic novel ‘The Coldest City’, AB is a super mix of JB—James Bond and Jason Bourne. Director David Leitch, who had co-directed ‘John Wick’ (2014) was a former stunt coordinator himself (Blade, The Matrix films). In supporting roles, there are John Goodman, as CIA agent, Kurzfield, Toby Jones as Broughton’s boss and Eddie Marsan, as Spyglass, who has memorised the entire list and wants to defect to the West. Charlize Theron elevates her action quotient from the 2015 ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ to a higher plane, though her body double, Canadian Morique Ganderton, has done most of the risky stunts. Also, what is commendable are the music pieces—all reminiscent of the 80s pop scene.  For action aficionados, not a film to be missed.

Hoshang K. Katrak
Hoshang K. Katrak

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