“Atomic Blonde” Review

11 August, 2017

Director: David Leitch
Screenwriter: Kurt Johnstad
Director of Photography: Jonathan Sela
Cast: 
Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman

Synopsis: An elite secret service agent with a violent background is sent on a mission to retrieve a top secret file from Berlin, heading into dangerous territory as she advances on her target with the hope of procuring a mysterious dossier.

Atomic Blonde Review:

A delirious neo-noir implemented by the seekers of aesthetic glory and utilising bone-crunch violence in the effort to disguise its own homogeneity, “Atomic Blonde” talks big and lives large, idolising its comic book roots as it tries and fails to capture the essence of a blood-spattered graphic novel while providing surface enjoyments that only highlight the filmmakers’ struggle to match style with substance. Demonstrating postmodernism at its scariest and most imperious, the film heads towards pastiche without a parachute, tussling and scrapping behind Tarkovsky and practically making love to the swoon of ‘As Time Goes By’ in scenes produced like parody yet presented with the utmost seriousness.

Written like “Mission: Impossible” but performed like a discarded “Kick-Ass” rewrite, “Atomic Blonde” toys with pseudo long takes, slipping into an action coma before its third act as the film’s stylistic vigour seeks 80s jams over a knockout storyline. Proving to be more Tinker Tailor than 007, “Atomic Blonde” hunts for a needle in a haystack, surrounding itself with Berlin madness as the walls rather ironically begin to close around its limited storyline and an ex-stuntman to Brad Pitt and Jean-Claude Van Damme shows where his true loyalties lie in a film torn between interrogation and execution.


Sensual and violent yet pained by the struggles of an uninspired team of adapters, the movie envelops itself in an obnoxious kind of pizzazz, leaping from cross-examination to head kick like a psychedelic frog jumping between lily pads. Stewing like ditch-water as the plot dribbles out like stagnant sewage, the filmmakers seek cheap thrills in dangerous places, ogling a kickass Theron yet failing to match her badassery with likability. Revelling in the blood of her foes as she punches her way through a neon abyss, Theron is a Tarantino hero without a teacher and her skills become a mere attraction in a colourful mess of a movie.

 

   

Summary
Review Date
Movie
Atomic Blonde
Rating
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