Published: Sat, July 29, 2017
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

Charlize Theron kicks spy ass in Atomic Blonde

Charlize Theron kicks spy ass in Atomic Blonde

That's it. That is the whole of John Wick. The movie treats this as no different from the many outings where James Bond seduces a handsome woman as part of the mission, and for a popcorn thriller, this is quite enlightened. A lesser cast would have contributed to this movie sinking like a stone.

Atomic Blonde is not the movie that the marketing wants you to think it is.

Theron plays Lorraine Broughton, a high-level British operative for MI6 who is sent to Berlin to investigate the death of a fellow agent and finds herself besieged by assassins at every turn as she tries to help another agent, the decadent Percival (James McAvoy) extract both unsafe information and the man who possesses it. Broughton is precise, coldly capable and unstoppable in her mission, pushing herself to the edge of collapse as she navigates the chaos and turmoil of Berlin at a crucial moment. While seeking out the missing list, she finds herself embroiled in a potential conspiracy that threatens the identities and lives secret agents around the world thanks to the machinations of a possible double agent working with the KGB.

World's least inconspicuous spy traverses '80s Berlin, leaving sartorially challenged bodies in her wake. My how things have changed in this fearless new Putin-Trump World in which we live!

It's a Snatch-esque plot where everyone is gaming each other (and chasing down a list of names instead of a giant diamond); thus, we are treated to a steady stream of endurance-testing fight scenes, ironic music queues, racks of fabulous outfits, a few very sexy encounters between Theron and Sofia Boutella (playing Delphine Lasalle, the rookie French agent who's not as smooth as she thinks she is), and a lot of dirty insane from James McAvoy, who plays David Percival, Theron's contact on the ground in Berlin. Take, for instance, a scene in which Lorraine makes mincemeat of a Russian henchman's face behind the screen of a movie theater playing Andrei Tarkovsky's "Stalker". As she proved in "Monster", she has no fear about appearing unattractive and she spends equal time as a sexy spy and as a bloody punching bag. I knew the locations that we could use practically that were really authentic and that would bring us back, and that we could still photograph. We also see her take male and female lovers, especially the latter, which is shown in more graphic detail.

With the list out there somewhere, David locates the person who created the list, Spyglass (Eddie Marsan) and he claims to have memorized its contents. The British government needs an undercover agent to try and get that list before it gets in the wrong hands.

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Why is he after Broughton? Ten days later, we know *something* bad happened, because agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) looks like she's gone ten rounds in the octagon. Then she explodes into a relentless, high-energy fighting style. The wonderful John Goodman plays a top Central Intelligence Agency official who really isn't given a whole lot to do. Broughton is the closest we've yet come to a female James Bond; surely she deserves a Blofeld (or hell, a Hugo Drax) of her own.

Boutella's character Delphine, an inexperienced gay spy with a certain sweetness, provides a romantic diversion for the bisexual Lorraine, and a sex scene steams things up.

Really quick: Why is she doing that whispering, smoky voice? .

Ostensibly, she's on the sad mission of collecting a corpse.

What you're saying is, this is actually very different from John Wick? .

Mere moments after touching down in Germany, Broughton is fending off one baddie with a high heel while forcing another into crashing and flipping the vehicle they're riding in. But please, do not forget to spare the puppies.

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