Atomic Blonde

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Atomic Blonde

Runtime 115 minutes
R

Filled with action and twists and brutal fights, this convoluted tale is a much more admirable film to provide women with their own action heroine than the deplorable “Wonder Woman.” That, and looking at Charlize Theron and her amazing, constantly changing wardrobe, who’s to complain?

Comparing the two films, the producers can only thank the gods that their movie came out first. Sitting through two of these films is a job for a film critic, but not something I’d recommend. But comparing Ms. Theron with Gal Gadot (who played WW) is like comparing, well, I’m too much of a gentlemen to go any further down this road.

Directed by David Leitch from a screenplay by Kurt Johnstad, based on a “graphic novel” nee comic book “The Coldest City” by Antony Johnston, the story is set in 1989 when the Berlin Wall is about to come down. Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service’s hottest (in more ways than one) agent, Lorraine Broughton (Charlize), is sent to East Berlin to get a list of spies, all of whom will apparently face fates worse than death if the list that is floating around somewhere falls into the wrong hands. This list is the MacGuffin of all MacGuffins. What ensues is a series of confrontations with various people like Berlin station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) who might be a good or bad guy. Percival looks like he couldn’t be anything other than a bad guy, but looks can be deceiving in movies.

Beautiful as Charlize is though, there isn’t a hint of romance in the entire film, despite the fact that she has one of the greatest wardrobes in the history of spy films. She wears a different knockout outfit in almost every scene.

In the meantime, Lorraine dispatches untold numbers of guys who are clearly bad. She generally takes them on in groups of maybe 10. There’s one fight in an apartment building that goes on for at least 10 minutes. If it weren’t so well done, it would be totally absurd. But after she dispatches one, she’s faced with five more. It’s nonstop action that is totally involving, indeed mesmerizing, even though we know she’s going to prevail, and there’s so much action that we don’t have time to say, “Wait a minute, this is ludicrous!” Which is why I give it a positive rating.

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