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808. Atomic Blonde

Published February 10, 2018

Title: Atomic Blonde Director: David Leitch Year: 2017 Run time: 1hr 55m

“Oscar®-winner Charlize Theron stars as elite MI6’s most lethal assassin and the crown jewel of her Majesty’s secret intelligence service, Lorraine Broughton. When she’s sent on a covert mission into Cold War Berlin, she must use all of the spycraft, sensuality and savagery she has to stay alive in the ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors. Broughton must navigate her way through a deadly game of spies to recover a priceless dossier while fighting ferocious killers along the way in this breakneck action-thriller from director David Leitch (John Wick).”

Live blog

3:28 - That’s one hell of an ice bath. 5:54 - Loving the eighties music. 9:24 - Great debrief. “Berlin. F*****k.” 12:18 - Native. Feral. These are just words for ROGUE. 16:00 - Zentral Flughafen. Love it. 17:57 - “Don’t shoot, I’ve got your shoe.” 32:56 - Curious why he has a hose pipe in his flat, but still, epic fight prop. 35:42 - “Saving the world is cool and all that but my main objective is staying alive.” 40:16 - Hoffman shoutout! 42:55 - Lorraine does good coat. 53:25 - That’s a new euphemism for it. Made contact. 1:09:55 - She’s awesome. Great umbrella tactic. 1:16:18 - Love how unconventional all the fighting is. 1:33:47 - Is Luftballons the only German song they have rights to? 1:41:44 - “You’ll start the next decade well rested.” I wish!

Conclusions

This was a refreshing take on the spy genre films, firstly because of the awesome setting - eighties music over a shot of grim eighties cars in a soon-to-be-reunited Germany? That’s already fascinating. But also because the unique take on the spy character that Charlize portrayed - firstly being half the size of most of her assailants, she had to use ingenuity and a lot of the props around her as weapons, which added to the drama. And then also because she so clearly showed injuries. Starting a film in an ice bath with so many bruises is like the complete opposite of James Bond.

I’ll confess to getting a bit confused at the end. Double crossing upon double crossing is too much for my brain, but I followed most of it and really enjoyed it. She was awesome, and the fresh take on the genre was really uplifting.

Rating: 4/5.

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