Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Atomic Blonde

If you like seeing stiletto heels puncturing a jugular and lots of violence within the twisted plot of a double-crossing cold war spy movie - then this is for you! The impact of Charlize Theron's raw and violent beauty in the titular role as MI6 Agent Lorraine Broughton is what carries the film. Fast paced, with plenty of action and fight scenes to rival MI, Bourne or Bond, this film reinvents good old fashioned cold war spying operations in Berlin as the wall is coming down in 1989.

You need to concentrate to follow the convoluted script as it weaves a trail of lies and deceit which leaves the viewer unsure about who to trust and who is actually the bad guy. Russians, Brits and Americans all interplay to try and secure a list of spies which, if it fell into the 'wrong' hands, would compromise many agents. The trouble is working whose hands are right and whose are wrong!

The high impact visual appearance of Theron is the sensory focus of this film - with a wardrobe to match. To portray such a sexualised character who uses her beauty to seduce the spy world at a time when Hollywood is debating the use of sexual power in Tinsel Town seemed an ironic confluence to me.

Broughton's ability to contrive an escape from the tightest of situations against seemingly impossible odds prevails time-and-time again. The story is based on a graphical novel and the action sequences and unlikely narrative manage to convey that feel very well. Whether or not this level of out-and-out violence adds or detracts from the film will be debated by many viewers I suspect.

There are very good performances from a strong cast including Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan and  James McAvoy with some stunning locations in Berlin of old, London and Paris. I watched this because the plane I was on had an oddly limited choice of films, I don't think I would have gone to the cinema to watch it or bought the disc. It passed a couple of hours but on reflection I felt it had appealed more to my base instincts and so perhaps I too am guilty of collusion. I'll give it 6/10.

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