It’s downright refreshing to see another kickass female lead so soon after Wonder Woman. While Atomic Blonde isn’t as impressive as Patty Jenkins’ film (which took the summer by storm), it’s still well worth watching.
Charlize Theron is no stranger to action. Atomic Blonde is certainly more worthy of her talents than the terrible Aeon Flux, but it’s nowhere near as impressive as Mad Max. My primary issue with the film is the generic plot; it’s the typical spy saga you’ve seen countless times before, and without enough twists to make it stand out from the genre. However, the visuals are so eye-poppingly good that the film nonetheless still manages to feel fresh and unique. The vibrant color palette, the bold soundtrack, and Charlize’s distinctive look all come together for a truly arresting visual experience.
But really the film’s main selling point is the brutal action and it doesn’t disappoint. One excruciatingly long take is thrilling in its savagery, as Charlize viciously battles her way through an apartment building using every weapon in site. The mindblowing thing here is that it’s Charlize doing all the action (the actress got really banged up during filming) and that completely immerses you in the action. I for one hate it when I can spot an actor’s stunt double, so it’s so satisfying to see Theron dishing out the beatings herself. If anybody deserves a kickass franchise akin to Bourne or Bond, it’s Charlize.
James McAvoy, Sofia Boutella and John Goodman are all fine in their respective roles, but much like the script, no one in the film’s cast really makes much of an impression apart from Theron. This is her film through and through, and she makes the most out of every single frame.
The script might not be the greatest, but thanks to its hyper-stylized action and Charlize Theron’s committed performance, Atomic Blonde is a slick little thriller.