It seems pretty clear to me that Atomic Blonde was always going to be a movie about how great Charlize Theron was at kicking ass (and getting her ass kicked, which happens in nearly equal doses) and that all attempts to move away from that would feel superfluous.
Are you psyched to see some serious butt get kicked this weekend when Atomic Blonde hits theaters on July 28? Though muted in color, all of the action is very clear and very brutal.
Broughton navigates these treacherous folks and their potential double crosses, but screenwriter Kurt Johnstad (who wrote both "300" movies) doesn't bring much energy or intrigue to the convoluted plot, taken from the graphic novel "The Coldest City". You don't get to delve into the film at all by watching a trailer, and it's impossible to tell that Atomic Blonde lacks in certain areas by seeing clips of a sexy Theron punching and kicking her way across the screen. Director David Leitch, a veteran stunt specialist on various Bourne and Matrix movies, co-directed the first Wick film (with his production partner and fellow stunt master Chad Stahelski), and he is a man whose mission in life may be to stamp out tiresome moments and wussy dialogue. It would be very hard for almost anyone to turn down Atomic Blonde given what happens in it, but it also has a very clear ceiling.
Theron plays Lorraine Broughton, a high-level British operative for MI6 who is sent to Berlin to investigate the death of a fellow agent and finds herself besieged by assassins at every turn as she tries to help another agent, the decadent Percival (James McAvoy) extract both risky information and the man who possesses it. Broughton is precise, coldly capable and unstoppable in her mission, pushing herself to the edge of collapse as she navigates the chaos and turmoil of Berlin at a crucial moment.
The movie is adapted from a well-regarded graphic novel, "The Coldest City", but the plot is entirely unconvincing. As I went down that process I started to attach to a few things to it -like how do we aggregate '80s cool in terms of the music and the look and the style of the costumes, and then how do we make the city of Berlin a character in addition to this other sort of insane cast of characters that we had.
The bottom-line: Skip it unless you're a hardcore action fan..
Atomic Blonde would have been a ideal film had the writers and screen adapters given more thought to the audience. "But the story is still that; the characters are still complex, but the world is fun and exciting and commercial". However, referring to the role she plays in Atomic Blonde, she thinks the film gives her "something that could hopefully live and breathe in the same kind of format, we could make a couple more movies and see this agent live".
Academy Award-winner Charlize Theron is no stranger to action movies having starred in Aeon Flux, Hancock, Prometheus, Mad Max: Fury Road and The Fate of the Furious. Instead, it's neither, but should make enough money that those responsible for the good stuff will get a better project to string together their stunning spectacle next time. It's not that I have a great affection for James (he's okay). Theron's stunts here are even more grueling. Despite the training, though, she left the "Atomic" production in need of dental work.
"That's going to take a while to figure out". The times I counted that I had to put a finger in each of my ears stand at nineteen. Leitch's camera does bounce around, but it never wavers from its subject. "It's amusing, I have such a great collaboration with Jonathan Sela, the cinematographer ["Wick 1", "Deadpool 2"], we have sort of a shorthand". It's a 2017 action movie set in the '80s when most things have it the other way around. "So that sequence was all hands on deck, all departments". "Atomic Blonde" is action craft executed at the highest level with so little interest in the mechanics of cinematic storytelling that it plays like little more than the world's most expensive (and deeply impressive) action directing demo reel. Surprisingly, yes. Theron's nude, black-and-blue-all-over ice baths represent Broughton's idea of Me Time. "There's fantasy-fulfillment in Charlize's character in a lot of ways, for men and women". Why are they the enemy?
"Atomic Blonde" (rated R for sequences of strong violence, language throughout, and some sexuality/nudity) has flaws but in the end it still delivers a great fix for action junkies and inspires hope that even a woman in her 40s can be the lead in an action movie.
Perhaps the aforementioned scene is one where Theron cracked two of her teeth while filming and acting out her own stunts. While Lorraine is a hardened professional, who wryly says to Delphine that "these relationships aren't real, it is part of the game", we detect fondness chooses to keep hidden from most. The way that she lives her life, we didn't want any rationalizations for it.
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