If seeing and rooting for a tough female lead kicking butt is your thing, then Atomic Blonde is the picture for you. I’ve always enjoyed pictures with strong women battling it out like in the Fast and Furious films or seeing UFC champion Ronda Rousey kick butt in the ring or Gal Godot laying waste to evil doers as the new Wonder Woman. Now, Charlize Theron as Lorraine Broughton – a rough, tough, cigarette smoking American spy with the CIA working with British Spy organization MI6, is pushing the envelope.
She is an agent who is strong, proudly feminine and tough as nails in a film that takes place in 1989 during the fall of the Berlin Wall.
She’s on a mission to retrieve a crucial document from a fellow agent who’s gone native while on assignment in East Berlin. The plot is pretty basic in order to hang on all the action sequences which see her teaming up with the agent David Percival to rescue an informant known as “spyglass’” who’s in possession of a list of double agents before Soviet baddies can get him. Got that?
Although she is very adept at fighting four guys at once and beating the crap out of them like a human cyborg, I thought the first hour was long and drawn out. Her character seemed very cold and unemotional and one dimensional. This first hour seemed more of a vehicle for Charlene to expose her eroticism with her sexy, black fishnet and garter outfits and sexy breathy voice and is told to MI6 agents in flashbacks.
It wasn’t until the second hour when things really start to pick up. The knockdown, drag out fight with Russian agents included her shooting them in the head, bashing them against walls causing blood to splatter all on the walls. I didn’t think it was as violent as some reviews said and I thought there could have been more action and less talking to move it along faster.
Her character is based on a graphic novel piece “The Coldest City” and paves the way for a possible series with a female James Bond character. In the novel Lorranne is seduced by a male French agent, but in the movie they decided to gender switch it and have the agent a female and they have a tastefully done sex scene to reach a modern audience.
“The relationship was flipped before I came onboard. It was a great idea. You always have to find ways to contemporize these stories, reach bigger audiences and be provocative in your storytelling,” said director David Leitch. He may be right, but I respectfully decline here.
Overall plot wise it is a good spy vs.spy vs. spy movie with some great choreographed fight scenes. I understand Charlene has been trained to do many of her own stunts too and she is entertaining to watch.