The Theron Who Came In From The Cold
It’s a strange thought to consider the fall of the Berlin Wall. It’s an event in history that is on the very edge of our memories if we concentrate we can remember it, but it forever changed our world. It seems like an obvious pick to set every spy thriller made in the last 30 years, yet I can only think of a handful. Atomic Blonde is the latest to attempt to marry the time period with a spy thriller plot, so the reel question is will it be more a Tare in The Iron Curtain or more a Funeral In Berlin?
Charlize Theron is a curious actress for me, people think highly of her and say she is one of the greatest talents of our time, but I’ve never really seen it personally. I have seen her take on many, many roles but I’ve never seen her become anything more than an actress. However, this, this, could be her career defining role. As the merciless and controlled Lorraine, Theron finally gets to show off what she really made of. This is a film that sits on her shoulders alone, and no matter how often you see James Macavoy with a Keith Lemon cast on his hand, nothing can distract you away from the main event, Charlize Theron.
The plot is surprisingly complex for a movie that has been sold on its action sequences, the film is much closer to a Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy than we have been lead to believe. The twisting and difficult narrative while at times can be multifaceted it never loses its focus on the central storyline of Lorraine trying to recover a document with every undercover operatives name on. Try and imagine a movie like the first Mission Impossible, that’s how Atomic Blonde is.
Of course, the visuals play a big part in Atomic Blonde’s success, the entire movie seems to have this 80’s neon pop punk glow to it that makes it spark and sizzle off the screen with each interrelation and movement. This is almost totally down to David Leitch whom previously directed the tour de force that was John Wick. Whether in it’s subtle exchanges of suspicion, a major plot twist or an action sequence through a dilapidated building, Atomic Blonde makes every second count.
There is a single sequence that Atomic Blonde will be remembered for if nothing else. It is an action scene that lasts over 10 minutes and is one continual camera shot. This scene is by far one of the strongest I have seen all year and can only be compared to a masterwork like Oldboy’s corridor fight. It is a relentless attack on our visual senses.
Joining Charlize Theron for the climate drop is the always enjoyable James McAvoy, the underrated Eddie Marsan, the unexpected John Goodman and the forever talented Toby Jones, all of whom support the lead perfectly. This is a film that fills itself with men just to make Lorraine look better.
Atomic Blonde poses all the perfection that you would expect from the director of John Wick. The entire film just works, every second it’s on screen it either pops with the soundtrack, zings with complex story or smacks you in the face with strong action sequences. Outstanding.