Atomic Blonde (2017)

Directed by David Leitch
Country: USA / other

Actor/producer Charlize Theron embodies a sexy, unemotional, and methodical MI6 agent in “Atomic Blonde”, a spy action thriller set in Berlin during the Cold War era and directed by David Leitch, uncredited co-director of “John Wick”. The film co-stars James McAvoy, Eddie Marsan, John Goodman, and Toby Jones.

Written by Kurt Johnstad, the script was inspired by Antony Johnston and Sam Hart's 2012 graphic novel "The Coldest City", but the natural strength of the occurrences described in the book failed to be fully passed to the big screen.

Lorraine Broughton (Theron) recalls an eventful Berliner mission that served to retrieve an important list containing the names of all double agents operating in the Soviet Union. She's being submitted to a tight interrogation led by Eric Gray (Jones), her superior, and Emmett Kurzfeld (Goodman), a CIA agent working with the MI6. As she talks, her story is reconstructed visually to include not only the mischievous collaboration with Percival (McAvoy), a cunning agent and snitch who secretly passes to the side of Brenovych (Roland Møller), a crude arms dealer and KGB associate, but also the lesbian relationship with the seductive French informer Delphine (Sofia Boutella) and the necessity to escort and protect Spyglass (Marsan), a former Stasi agent who having memorized all the names on the coveted list, became an easy target for the Russian clan.

Although throwing dynamic punches with avidness when not sharing hot moments with her lover, our heroine needed to be characterized with a bit more charisma and style to captivate and turn us into unconditional supporters. Despite a few periods where the film literally gets stranded in muddy waters, the last section becomes substantially more convincing and slightly more thrilling than the previous. At least we had some more psychological tension around instead of the uninventive physical fights.

Atomic Blonde” is moderately violent, widely familiar, and boasts a fantastic retro soundtrack that may trigger some nostalgia. The final revelations, almost functioning as an antidote for the mechanical processes adopted by Leitch, piqued a small amount of curiosity until the final credits roll. Notwithstanding, its title won’t be considered as an unmissable spy flick because the story loses emotional grip with the routines succeeding one another without novelty or originality.