Entertainment July 27, 2017
Yeah, it's basically like lady James Bond.
My Atomic Blonde review starts before I even see the movie. A friend of mine called me and told me to watch the trailer, which I did, and I was impressed.
The trailer for this movie was awesome. And despite the fact that usually when movies put out multiple trailers, they reveal too much plot, that was not the case here. I got myself very hyped up about going to see this film.
Charlize Theron produced on the project (a growing trend among actresses) and did a great deal of her own stunts. The concept is kind of lofty for someone who hated history class: A British spy enters Berlin days before the fall of the Berlin wall to recover information while dealing with a double agent.
James McAvoy plays a somehow likable fellow agent. John Goodman is in the movie for some reason. And Sofia Boutella plays the film’s love interest in a refreshing twist.
The first thing to notice about this movie is the incredible cinematography. The film is based on a graphic novel, which gives each frame distinct composition and flair.
The 80s setting lends itself to buzzing neons. And the Cold War tension of East and West Berlin allows those neons to contrast with the color-drained palette of the city.
My second favorite thing about this film is the fight scenes. It’s not an “Atomic Blonde” review if we don’t talk about them. Charlize didn’t just “do her own stunts,” she did them well. And to add to refreshing twists in cinema, the people fighting on screen ACTUALLY got tired, stumbled, lost weapons and looked for more. It injected a nice bit of realism into those moments.
The music added punctuation to moments of tension and fights. It was all 80s music, and the occasional German rendition of songs grounded the audience in the environment.
One of the best parts: Theron and Boutella’s characters are unapologetically Queer. The romance between them is a lovely, albeit small part, of the film. They never have to explain their attraction. It’s just there. And at one point, very in your face.
There were things I didn’t love about the movie, first and foremost being it’s predictability level. Don’t get me wrong, it’s worth the price of admission to see how they get from point A to point B. But you can tell where they’re going.
The unseen big bad, Satchel’s identity is revealed late in the film. You already know who it is though, if you read the signs. John Goodman’s character shows up and says stuff for a reason you find out in the end. But he doesn’t really need to be there. Charlize’s character Lorraine could’ve carried that plot point through on her own. Not that I don’t like Goodman.
The Queer love story is a great part of this film. What I can say without Spoilers is: I was sad to see this movie fall into the trap that basically every movie or show featuring Queer women does. Sofia’s character Delphine (the only person of color I must add) was not only underused, but annoyingly weepy. She pulls a confident challenge out of nowhere but then well…
Okay. This is Hollywood. And in Hollywood we all know that whenever there are two Queer women in a movie (or show) having a sincere connection, one of them has to die. This is the law of the United States of America. But it doesn’t make it ANY EASIER when it happens for the 10 millionth time. (Just kidding about the 10 million, there have been nowhere near that amount of depictions of Queer women in media.)
Delphine (Sofia Boutella) not ONLY cries most of the time. She also dies. And it felt like I was being attacked. When she got murdered it felt like the filmmakers said, “Oh, you thought-? Lol. This is the law.” I get that it added some sort of emotional vengeance to Lorraine’s motivations.
But another of Lorraine’s lovers had died ALREADY. And she had so much other baggage to take out, that killing Delphine just seemed unnecessary.
Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to hope that it won’t happen next time. Overall though, Atomic Blonde was a great time and definitely worth a watch. Check it out this Friday, July 28th!
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