Charlize Theron kicks ass. That much we already knew. But of late on the big screen, she has literally and not just figuratively been taking names and that could not be truer with her latest which is out now on DVD, Blu-Ray and digital download — Atomic Blonde.
Theron is Lorraine Broughton, an MI6 agent who is doing her part in Berlin to keep the Cold War from getting heated during the 80s. Armed with a killer Decade of Decadence soundtrack, Atomic Blonde works its magic on more than level. It excels as an action flick. It compels as a spy thriller and believe it or not, it triumphs as a character study in what makes a person tick that would choose this type of life.
Broughton is in East Berlin and is double-crossed while attempting to nab a stolen piece of intelligence. Helping her along the way is another agent, David Percival (Split star James McAvoy). He lives life on the edge in many ways, and that does not exactly make the job easy for our titular heroine.
The film is based on Antony Johnson’s wildly popular graphic novel, The Coldest City (what a great title, no?!) and is directed by David Leitch (John Wick and the upcoming Deadpool sequel). The pedigree on this thing is top notch. All involved know exactly the tone that is pulsating through every scene and even co-star John Goodman has a blast as a CIA agent trying to do his part to help Theron achieve her mission.
The reason to see this flick, above all else, is the action sequences. They are exquisite and envelope pushing, especially one in particular. You will never look at people fighting in a stairwell the same way again. All future action movie directors will never even attempt to stage a fight scene anywhere near a staircase because of what Atomic Blonde has achieved! The audience will never be able to separate the brilliance of Theron and company from what anyone else will attempt!
The setting of Berlin is brilliant, in that it was ground zero for the Cold War and having Theron work her magic there is a stroke of genius. That is why you do not want to miss the bonus feature Welcome to Berlin. The German city becomes a character all its own and this featurette shows us how that came to be in what proves to be a making-of featurette that does so much more than those run-of-the-mill “how did they do that?” piece.
Blondes Have More Gun shines the spotlight firmly on Theron and takes us behind the scenes in terms of what it took for her to not only get into fighting shape, but how integral the action choreography was and how the Oscar winner managed to nail every punch, kick, leap and so much more.
Director Leitch gives the spy genre a whole new landscape with Atomic Blonde and through the featurette Spymaster he explores how he did it by utilizing complicated characters, timely tone and most importantly, a soundtrack that pulsates with 80s beats and bravado.
That fight scene we spoke of earlier, well you don’t want to miss Anatomy of a Fight Scene to see how director Leitch achieved one of the best action moments of all of 2017. Theron also chimes in and gives her thoughts on a fight sequence that will surely be studied in film schools for years to come.
Fitting that Story in Motion: Agent Broughton is a featurette in that is featured on the Atomic Blonde Blu-Ray. We get to witness Theron’s character do her thing through storyboards, the most artistic way of staging a scene. Fitting, you ask? Well, considering the film is based on a graphic novel… it’s literally witnessing the artistry comes to life.
Film Grade: A-
Bonus Feature: B+