BY PAUL HALL
It’s 1989 in Berlin. East and West are separated by the iconic Berlin Wall, but that is soon to change. On both sides of this landmark divide in culture, politics and way of life are spies who work for every agency imaginable. KGB agents reign supreme in the East, and the rest of the free world is at home in the West. The spy game is alive and well in the new film Atomic Blonde.
MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is called upon by her superiors to assist in retrieving a list that contains the identities of countless agents. It is information that every government would like to get their hands on. Once Broughton arrives in Berlin, she is to meet up with the station chief David Percival (James McAvoy).
Together with Percival, she is tasked with retrieving the list and keeping it away from the KGB. Upon her arrival, Broughton is immediately greeted by the KGB. But she is clever and trusts no one. This mission will call on her to work through a minefield of agents, double agents and interesting characters to get home alive. Broughton’s time in Berlin is told against the backdrop of a debrief by her superiors in which she recounts the events of the mission.
We are greeted with all the minute details of an agent who isn’t afraid of anyone or anything and will stop at nothing to get the job done. It’s refreshing to see an unapologetic woman kicking butt and taking names. In a genre dominated by male stars, Theron is the perfect person to turn things upside down. She brings with her the star power of an Academy Award winner who knows both drama and action, and she dominates the screen in every sequence.
Blonde features a fun soundtrack straight from the late ‘80s and video sequences of period television footage that even include MTV’s Kurt Loder. I will never hear “99 Luftballons” the same way again. (See the movie. You’ll know what I mean.) But I’m really gushing about the return to good old-fashioned stunt work. Fight sequences are memorable and plentiful, and Theron is at the center of many of them. The women and men who are behind the countless hand-to-hand battles have done themselves proud. This is an old-school action film and it’s done with both flair and class.
Throw in a fun and engaging story and Atomic Blonde delivers an exciting and engrossing film for fans of the genre. Blonde kicked my butt and I liked it.
Paul’s Grade: B+ Atomic Blonde Rated R Stars: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman Director: David Leitch
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