Director David Leitch’s “Atomic Blonde” strives to be a mysterious Reagan-age spy drama that has a 21st century feel because it has been infused with the aggressively excessive violence so pronounced in the world of graphic novels. The script by Kurt Johnstad is based on the graphic novel “The Coldest City,” by Antony Johnston.
The spy thriller unfolds in late 1989 as the Berlin Wall is finally taken down. While the world is watching the historical moment, a network of spies from multiple countries are all waging a kill-or-be-killed confrontation where the violence never lacks for intensity.
Even with a remarkable performance by Oscar-winning Charlize Theron, none of these parts connect strongly enough to make this a project worthy of launching a franchise. It’s got enough fun moments to be entertaining but never delivers the mushroom cloud of excitement the name would suggest.
Theron does her best playing Lorraine Broughton, one of the top agents with MI6. She’s sent to West Germany where she must work with Berlin station chief David Percival (James McAvoy), a man who’s been undercover so long he’s lost his own identity. They must find a way to deal with vast differences so they can recover a list that in the wrong hands could be deadly for the good guy spies.
The mission is challenging from the start as Broughton spends as much time fighting for her life as trying to complete the mission. It slowly becomes obvious that there are some deadly dealings being made to get control of the list. Most of the planning gives way to the attacks that are the source of the movie’s continued use of…
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