Do you love a good fight scene?
Yes, I hear you say. Well then ladies and gents, this is the movie for you.
I’m going to be totally honest with you: Atomic Blonde is a great film but it is entirely style over substance. In this particular case, I don’t think it’s a bad thing, because when the story is this sexy, who needs substance?
Atomic Blonde is set in Berlin in 1989, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. The storyline is simple: after an MI6 field agent dies while on mission to recover a leaked list of agents’ names, fellow agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is sent to Berlin to complete the mission alongside the rather unconventional David Percival (James McAvoy).
From the very first scene you can see that Atomic Blonde has been beautifully made. The entire film is full of gorgeous shots—I assure you I have honestly never seen a bathtub full of ice or hey, even a damn elevator look so pretty on camera. The entire film has a carefully and consistently produced colour scheme, with lighting that is seriously on point. I urge you to look out for artistic shots throughout the film; the use of symmetry in particular is great, and the establishing shot over Berlin during the protest scene is brilliant!
The film has certainly not run short on creative liberties—it genuinely feels like you’re watching a two-hour long live action graphic novel that has just come to life on the screen. This is completely appropriate given its origins from Antony Johnston and Sam Hart’s graphic novel The Coldest City.
What about these fight scenes I mentioned earlier? Normally, I am not one for gory footage in any respect. Seriously, I can’t even watch Bones on a full stomach—let’s just say, my tolerance is low. But the fight scenes in Atomic Blonde, now that’s a different story. Due to the incredibly beautiful way this film has been shot it’s really hard not to enjoy watching Lorraine, looking totally girl-power awesome in her killer footwear, beating the absolute shit out of every agent who gets in her way—on occasion, even using said footwear.
Throughout much of the film this gore has been juxtaposed with awesome 80’s dance music, while other scenes have been left raw, with only brutal sound effects to go along with the epic beating. Normally I would say that this bloody violence shouldn’t be glorified on screen, but shit, if you make it look this beautiful, I’m all for it.