Review by Preston Barta at SXSW
Continuing her hot action-movie streak, Charlize Theron plays an undercover MI6 agent who’s assigned to follow a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.
In short, I was very excited to watch a realistic spy-thriller directed by stuntman-turned-filmmaker David Leitch (John Wick, upcoming Deadpool sequel) that also happens to star Theron. The way the trailer sells the combat sequences, it was no doubt going to continue Leitch’s streak of practical filmmaking with fights that look nothing shy of real.
Atomic Blonde is gorgeous to look at, has an exciting ’80s greatest hits soundtrack, and occasionally dazzles with its expected great stunt work – especially one 15-minute throwdown with some goons in a hallway – but much of the plot feels hollow. Perhaps Leitch got too confident behind the camera because of the reception of John Wick. However, unlike the case with John Wick, the story is too complicated for its own good.