By Jackie Raphael
This film has action, sex and violence, but Atomic Blonde does lack originality. It is based on the graphic novel The Coldest City by Antony Johnston and tells the story of undercover agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron), who is sent to Berlin in 1989 before the wall came down, to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover “the list”. While director David Leitch did a good job in terms of cinematography and use of the 1980s soundtrack, the plot itself was much like any other action film. More effort could have been taken to have costumes that better reflected the period, but there were subtle elements in the fashion.
Theron’s accent slipped several times, which was distracting, however her acting overall was strong and she is believable in the role. James McAvoy, who plays another spy deeply entrenched in Berlin, was amazing as always, in particular during a scene where he was being beaten and screaming in pain. There is a lot of gruesome violence throughout, which drew gasps of enjoyment from the audience. Leitch’s experience as a stunt double and coordinator was evident in the way he directed many of the highly-skilled and powerful fight sequences. The pace of the film was good, although it could have been slightly shorter.