Movie Review: ‘Atomic Blonde’ Is Part Atomic, Part Blah

There is no doubt that Charlize Theron can kick ass. There is no doubt that she can be about as alluring as a women can be. She can carry her self with a bad ass confidence or a sexy sway. So, playing the role of a brutal femme fatale seems to come effortlessly to her. Which makes breezing through the exercised material of ‘Atomic Blonde’ plenty easy to swallow.

This is because the twists and turns of this movie have pretty much all been done in similar ways and quite better before. The whole secret list of covert agents story feels about as cliche’ as the “one last job” genre, but sometimes a cliche’ can lead to something special. Just go watch ‘Baby Driver’ for a recent great example. I wouldn’t argue that’s the case with the plot in ‘Atomic Blonde’. There’s too many steps the movie takes the audience has been through before.

However, the movie completely makes up for this by delivering one of the finest fight sequences I’ve ever seen. A fight that comes around three quarters into the film and lasts nearly ten minutes with no edit of any kind. It’s a scene of exhilarating fight choreography and expertly crafted stunt work. It’s also a sequence where Theron shows herself to be the next Tom Cruise of stunt work. She literally gets smacked, smashed, thrown down the stairs, kicked, thrown into walls, and has to carry out dozens of perfectly timed fight moves without one slip up in ten minutes.

You also have to give some huge credit to the director for crafting such a sequence. Oh, and did I mention the scene doesn’t end after the fist fighting in the hallway. It takes you out into the streets and gives another few minutes of a car chase. Which wouldn’t be that cool if there wasn’t a camera spinning perfectly through the car so as to get the actors faces and other cars in some pretty gnarly crashes. All in all, it’s the best single take sequence I’ve seen since ‘Children of Men’.

I wish that the story had been a bit more original or maybe the other action sequences hadn’t been ruined so thoroughly by the advertising, but they wanted to get people into seats. I dig it. So, what we are left with is a decent spy thriller, with good performances by Theron and James McAvoy, a few sexy sequences, and want fantastic fight. If that sounds like a good time to you then head out to see it at the theater this weekend. You might have at least ten minutes of exhilarating fun!


Nathan Ligon

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