Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Short Attention Span Review: Atomic Blonde (2017)

Short Attention Span Review: Atomic Blonde (2017)

Stylish, vibrant, and exciting as hell, Atomic Blonde is a top shelf thrill ride that features two incredible performances and some of the most vicious action sequences ever captured on film.  First off, Charlize Theron is great in every role she decides to tackle, so it can't be considered much of a surprise that she is such an incredible asset to this slick spy thriller.  In what has to be her most physical role to date, she proves to be one of the most dangerous cinema badasses we've yet to encounter, and Atomic Blonde boasts several quality showdowns and one brutal battle royal for the ages.  She is almost matched by James McAvoy, who gets to cut loose in one of his most outlandish roles.  In truth, this may be my favorite thing he has done, and I consider myself quite a fan of his work, so that's high praise.  He's so volatile and so entertaining, and he shows off some action chops as well, though the film clearly belongs to Charlize.  Director David Leitch makes great use of an 80s setting for this vintage spy caper and even greater use of a fabulous 80s soundtrack.  He rounds out his cast with heavyweights like John Goodman and Bill Skarsgard, and even gets a deft showing out of Til Schweiger.  Leitch also wisely allows Daniel Bernhardt to give the heavies a boost with his menacing persona and his martial arts prowess.  Given that Leitch has a background in stunts and made his mark directing some scenes for John Wick, it should come as no surprise that he handles the action with incredible finesse.  However, I feel like it is his apparent skill in other areas that makes Atomic Blonde such a captivating success.  Yes, the film features several high-octane action bits, but it is also a mesmerizing thriller with numerous twists and turns, and enough emotional heft to keep viewers fully invested in both the characters and the intrigue.  Add the great use of a pivotal period in global history and a massive soundtrack, and you have a killer flick that deserves far more acclaim than it has received to date.

Final Grade: A+

Let's face it, Charlize kills every role she takes on, so it should come as no surprise that she slays it in perhaps her most physical role to date as an ultimate badass in Atomic Blonde.

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