Atomic Blonde is directed by David Leitch and is set during the final days of the cold war in Berlin, where the wall is about to fall. Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron), an elite spy from MI6, has been sent to Berlin to recover a priceless dossier and eliminate a deadly Russian mafia gang who currently possess. However her mission quickly becomes anything but straightforward.
David Leitch is going to be an important figure in the future as he is taking up the director’s seat in the upcoming Deadpool sequel. Atomic Blonde gave us a taste of his directorial style, which was interesting to say the least. What I liked about his direction was his overarching vision. I liked that this film was set during the collapse of the Berlin as it was an important historical event that isn’t really explored in the detail it should be in Hollywood. The segregation and difference in governance between East and West Berlin is well showcased alongside the slow buildup to the collapse of wall through some thrilling and eventful protest sequences.
Atomic Blonde also features some of the best action set pieces that we’ve seen all year. The action is bloody, very hands on and reminiscent of the Bourne franchise in the sense that our main lead utilizes the objects around her to create deadly weapons. There was one particular action sequence in an abandoned building that particularly stood out because it was all done in one take. Other action franchises should be inspired to do the same. An argument can be made that Atomic Blonde is the female version of action/spy movies such as James Bond, Jason Bourne and John Wick, but I do think some credit has to be given to this film’s use of a unique historical setting and narrative.
Speaking of the film’s narrative, there a lot of twists and turns. At times this made the story that much more appealing because it was hard to anticipate what was going to happen next (which is admittedly hard to achieve for this genre). However at other times, I felt this movie was trying to be oversmart. At the end of the day Atomic Blonde was marketed as a summer action flick. Its narrative doesn’t appropriately target the audience its intended to. I also noticed an overuse of neon colors, which gave me bad memories of another film that did the same; Suicide Squad.
Taking everything into consideration, Atomic Blonde does have more positives and narratives. Charlize Theron is stunning but deadly. The action set pieces are noteworthy and the historical setting plays a massive role in creating a thrilling storyline. However in my view, there were too many plot twists and neon colors present.