My Review: Atomic Blonde

Saturday July 29th was a dank and dreary day, fortunately there was no substantive rainfall, but there was a  warning about the soil being so drenched that trees were in danger of uprooting and have uprooted in some areas.

So I decided to brave whatever elements may arise and go see:

Atomic Blonde – #1 Action Movie of 2017!

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I usually prefer to NOT give out too much information about what happens in a movie because nmany movie reviews now-a-days are really nothing more than recaps of the movie, or more simply a spoiler.

I will start this review by proclaiming that Atomic Blonde is a well-conceived and cool-looking female-driven action movie that for all intents and purposes should have  kicked box office ass on it’s opening weekend. What Happened?

For those who will complain about the lack of people of color, it’s BERLIN and the Schwarze Deutsch or Black/German movement was still in its infancy.

Finally: If you are an aspiring spy who manages to immobilize your opponent after they attack you, then it is wise to KILL them while they are still unconscious, because you may not get a second chance.

ABOUT That Damn Berlin Wall

Without Charlize Theron, the spy adventure “Atomic Blonde” would only be a routine trope reminiscent of 007’s theatrical hijinks. Theron makes it insightful by granting her character emotional depth juxtaposed to the highly mannered behavior of the film’s heroine. Furiosa ain’t got nothin’ on Lorraine Broughton, in fact Theron’s character from Mad max Fury Road is a mere Amuse-bouche to Lorraine Broughton’s main course..

British spy Lorraine Broughton, tries retrieve a coveted list of undercover operatives and catch a British double agent working in West Germany, WHEW!

Who Lorraine truly is, for the most part, is a mystery, where her aloofness is only amplified by silver-grey camera filters, pulsating blue lights and Lorraine’s favorite drink, vodka on the rocks.

Yeah I am a fan of Theron and this was entertainment budgeted money well spent. I hung on every word, every gesture, every direct stare and verbal nuance so as not to miss one component of her performance.

Theron’s body language and calculating stare give her character intelligence and proves she’s the right person for the job showing viewers how toned her body is by flexing her back muscles in the tub or displaying the full length of her nude form from behind during the opening moments of the movie.

Most of the trailers seen on television happen during the first half of the movie and result in simultaneously making the viewer feel as if we know what will happen in the second half and as a set up for what we don’t know will happen in the second half.

Theron grounds the film whenever it threatens to become, hyper-convoluted by making you believe that her character isn’t just another James Bond wannabe, as she absorbs punch after punch after punch and it mattered that Theron play a role that under most other circumstances, would have been given to a lesser male star.

Her intensity during the film’s action scenes are a mix of ostentatiously choreographed brutality and Paul Greengrass-style hand-held camerawork—really convinces you that any closer and you risk being kicked punched or stabbed.

You may watch “Atomic Blonde” because it’s from the co-director of “John Wick,” but you should see it for Theron, you won’t be disappointed. I certainly wasn’t

Theron also makes you want to dig into the meaning of a film whose ’80s soundtrack—ranges from Nena’s “99 Luftaballons” to New Order’s “Blue Monday”—announce “Atomic Blonde” as a knowing act of role-playing. Set during the first week of November, 1989, days before the fall of the Berlin Wall

Historically speaking, we know how the story ends. But what’s important here is the spy work and its consequences for Lorraine and not so much how her story began.

Some males criticized the movie because it is set during this time period (The fall of the Berlin Wall) .  I ask what better a time to set an action spy thriller, where resources are diverted away from monitoring who’s committing acts of espionage to monitoring the chaos that is occurring at the wall? Basically giving the bad guys the run  of the city of Berlin!

To get the job done, Lorraine Broughton has to enter every situation numb to the human connections she makes in order to survive and also to save the lives of her colleagues in order to achieve her goals she subsequently addresses every situation tactically rather than emotionally. Lorraine’s status quo is chilliness, a state of being whose necessity is confirmed with almost every interaction.

As a woman, Broughton has to be on guard at all times, because she enters every situation knowing that everyone wants to proposition and/or take advantage of her. At every step, she meets people who openly deceive her or who are theoretically on her side but seem as if they’re out to get her. Like when Lorraine is  she is ambushed by a group of SS [Ministry for State Security] officers who pose as her contacts.

Lorraine has personal ties to the spy whose death and betrayal leads to her arrival in Berlin, even if those ties are thankfully only mentioned during flashbacks (The photo burning scene and the debriefing scene) suggests a personal dimension to Lorraine’s quest that is thankfully never foregrounded.

Then she meets British spy David Percival (James McAvoy), who is disillusioned with his low status on the espionage totem pole and doesn’t seem too invested in helping a British informant known as Spyglass (Eddie Marsan) to flee Berlin.

Earlier in this post, I wrote that I don’t like to share too much information about what occured i n a movie, so as not to spoil anything if you are planning to see Atomic Blonde.

However the short albeit intense physical and emotional relationship between characters Lorraine Broughton and French operative Delphine Lasalle deserves a bit more examination,  because Delphine cleasry had the magic touch to get Lorraine into bed TWICE, since it is only with Delphine that Lorraine allows viewers to see her range of emotion for the woman.

It was like they had a year’s worth  of  relationship in less than one hour and that it probably why Sofia Boutella was told by interviewers that they wish the she had a longer role in the movie.

SPOILER Alert

As French spy and potential love interest named, Delphine Lasalle (Sofia Boutella) challenges Lorraine by exposing her (Delphine’s) own vulnerabilities and fears.  It is at that point that Broughton lowers her defenses enough to reach out out to Delphine and develop a deeper physical and emotional connection with the woma.

YES their involvement was all too short, the sex was all too hot and NOT long enough, whereas in the movie Carol there is more talk and a slower seduction scene,

In Atomic Blonde there is less talk and more fcuking, which thankfully WAS foregrounded.

By now you should know that the movie Atomic Blonde is based on Antony Johnston and Sam Hart’s comic book:

 Theron trusted viewers enough to downplay hackneyed origin-story psychology, hopefully to make viewers more inclined to forgive ‘blocky’ expository dialogue exchanges, smart-ass Machiavelli quotations, and an triple twist complexity riddled plot.

The book was adapted by director David Leitch (co-director of the “John Wick” films) by screenwriter Kurt Johnstad in a way that gives us lots of information about Lorraine through visuals alone. YOU can SEE that she’s cool, and is only making connections to get ahead, but she’s actually a mix of fire and ice: The director and cinematographer put scenes in the film with red and blue light overlays.

The ice bath Theron emerges from in her first scene is lit blue, while the lighter that is offered to her at a bar in one of the film’s most indelible images lights her face up red.

Blue is the persona that Lorraine presents to the world; red light cuts through the character’s facade and reveals her interior. When Lorraine makes contact with Delfine, her blue-lit face is undercut with flashes of fiery red light that accent Theron’s cheekbones. When Delfine and Lorraine move to Lorraine’s bedroom: OMFGoddess. In their post coital bliss, Loraine evokes a protective  persona to Lasalle’s babe in the woods naivete.

Sadly though for everyone involved, Lorraine was too late to protect Delphine from meeting with an untimely demise, after Lasalle commits an error that proves to be fatal.

So after a short period of mournful brooding we see Broughton’s caring persona retreat and how quickly  the cold, calculating and ruthless Loraine the Assassin persona re-emerges to wreak vengeance in Delphine’s memory, oh and to find the culprit responsible for killing all of the operatives.

References are also pretty  heavy in the film, connecting not only with Lorraine’s personality but with the historical landscape through which she travels. “Blue Monday” plays during a table-setting introductory scene, solidifying the notion of Lorraine-the-ice-queen and reminding us that espionage is Lorraine’s job and she’s about to start a new assignment.

As a showcase for its lead actress: Charlize Theron  and the start of a potential new spy franchise, Atomic Blonde works like a charm!

Sure, you can compare it to The Bourne Supremacy, Quantum of Solace, Salt  or John Wick. But Atomic Blonde exists as its own ‘thang‘ and has its own grimy groove all to itself, proudly standing alongside its peers.

Did I say that Theron is terrific?

And Leitch offers some superb action sequences while the soundtrack papers over some of the momentum issues. It’s not a story, but it’s a lot of fun and I’d happily see Theron’s title character come back from the cold. It’s sets a new standard for women’s roles in action movies!

Collectively women seem to have lost their minds (Straight women, Lesbians, Bisexuals and queer women in general over the movie Wonder Woman, yet a  movie with a strong female protagonist starring an incredibly beautiful  actress who, avenges the death of her lesbian counterpart and  did most of her own stunts is once again ignored  by lesbian media (And we all know that many ‘straight’ women sneak a peek at online lesbia media.)

My Score: A++ for action and -A for story

 

 Lesbians can be so goddamn disappointing sometimes.

I was at the movie its opening weekend. Where the fcuk were you?

Sorry a$$ lesbian websites would rather rate the Coats that Theron wore in Atomic Blonde instead, After Ellen and Autostraddle would rather recap Wynona Burp instead. And worst of all Dorothy Surrendered to nothing more than a symbolic regurgitation of the movie Carol #GothiKstyle instead.

YAWN

 I may return my toaster.