Director: David Leitch
Cast: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman
Release Date: November 14, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Oscar®-winner Charlize Theron stars as elite MI6’s most lethal assassin and the crown jewel of her Majesty’s secret intelligence service, Lorraine Broughton. When she’s sent on a covert mission into Cold War Berlin, she must use all of the spycraft, sensuality and savagery she has to stay alive in the ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors. Broughton must navigate her way through a deadly game of spies to recover a priceless dossier while fighting ferocious killers along the way in this breakneck action-thriller from director David Leitch (John Wick).
Set in the late 80’s amidst Cold War Era Berlin, ‘Atomic Blonde’ follows deadly MI6 assassin Lorraine Broughton (Theron) who is sent into Berlin on a secret mission when a priceless list appears to have gone missing which could compromise everything should it fall into the wrong hands. With no one to trust other than herself, Broughton weaves her way through the treacherous, snow covered world leaving a path of bodies in her wake as she is forced to claw her way through one deadly assault after another. With enemies all around and the critical information remaining up for grabs, whoever acquires the list will control the outcome and it’s still anybody’s game in this violent free for all.
Directed by David Leitch (the upcoming ‘Deadpool 2’ & co-director of ‘John Wick’) from a screenplay by Kurt Johnstad (300) which was based upon the Oni Press graphic novel series “The Coldest City” written by Antony Johnston and Sam Hart, Leitch does a wonderful job at the helm of ‘Atomic Blonde’ guiding this gorgeous and tense action flick along with plenty of style and nary missing a beat. The film also owes a good share of credit to the capable folks that comprise the cast including Charlize Theron (Prometheus), James McAvoy (X-Men: Apocalypse), John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane), Toby Jones (The Hunger Games), Til Schweiger (Inglourious Basterds), Eddie Marsan (TV’s Ray Donovan), Sofia Boutella (Kingsmen: The Secret Service), Bill Skarsgård (IT 2007) and more, nearly all delivering highly capable performances in each of their respective roles.
‘Atomic Blonde’ is an action-packed, visually gorgeous and just flat out enjoyable trip back to Cold War era Berlin; fueled by noteworthy 80’s music that never fails to slap a grin on your face as it kicks in and cuts out at the most clever of moments and also contributes a lighter aspect to the gritty violence that tends to mesh surprisingly well. Filled with colorful and largely untrustworthy characters that never fail to keep things interesting, it aggressively weaves its way through the beautifully scenery and snowy climate while nary faltering along its course. It’s a fast-paced and rip roaring good time with all of the twists, turns and double crosses one might expect from a spy flick, and offering up no shortage of tense and often brutal action sequences that never fail to impress. It may have a few messy storylines and some seemingly illogical actions from a few characters, but the positive largely outweighs the negative and as a whole it’s one truly good time that rarely disappoints. Swiftly guided through every twist and turn by director David Leitch whose capable guidance is further complimented by a notable cast that includes Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman and a number more, all of whom for the most part deliver solid performances all around. I would definitely urge fans of ‘John Wick’ and other similarly stylish and hard hitting action flicks to make a point of giving ‘Atomic Blonde’ a shot when you have the chance, odds are you won’t be the slightest bit disappointed that you did.
Overall, ‘Atomic Blonde’ is a wildly entertaining, tense and sexy action flick that serves up plenty of stellar, hard hitting action sequences and a snowy, Berlin setting that only compliments the visual beauty often on prominent display. It may suffer a few minor faults, but as a whole it forms together into a ridiculously fun ride that is well worth taking. ‘Atomic Blonde’ is definitely recommended, especially for action movie junkies and those who appreciate a stylish, brutal and incredibly fun movie with a truly powerful female lead portrayed magnificently by Charlize Theron. This one should have little trouble proving itself to be well worth your time and likely the cost of a rental as well. Fellow action movie fans won’t even want to consider missing out on ‘Atomic Blonde’.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Atomic Blonde’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty wonderful as a whole and provides a sharp and detailed presentation from start to finish, with no noteworthy faults to found along the way. It holds up admirably even during the numerous darkly lit and fast moving sequences, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a solid high definition video presentation from Universal that looks consistently great and is complimented by a more than adequate bitrate.
The Blu-ray release features a DTS: X (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA presentation. This multichannel soundtrack delivers a crisp, clean and quite aggressive audio presentation throughout. It frequently takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to send a plethora of bullets, debris, vehicle and crowd activity, along with plenty more constantly whipping throughout the various speakers, and always making certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a fantastic DTS: X (DTS-HD MA 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that contributes a great deal of fun in itself to the overall viewing experience and shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Atomic Blonde’ includes some fun extras that take you deeper into bringing the film to life. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director David Leitch and Editor Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir’, in addition to a few ‘Deleted and Extended Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 7 minutes in length altogether). We are also treated to a collection of Behind the Scenes Featurettes including interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Welcome to Berlin’ (running approximately 5 minutes in length), ‘Blondes Have More Gun’ (running approximately 7 minutes), ‘Spymaster’ (approximately 4 minutes) and ‘Anatomy of a Fight Scene’ (8 minutes). 2 ‘Story in Motion Segments with Optional Commentary by Director David Leitch’ are also included: ‘Agent Broughton’ and ‘The Chase’ (approximately 2 minutes each).