Synopsis: Set at the beginning of the end of the Cold War, an undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin, Germany to recover a list of international agents that have double crossed their own organizations.
Thoughts: Slow. Not my favorite ingenue. Take the ‘W’. James McAvoy.
Conclusion: 4/5 buckets of popcorn
Because Reasons: Atomic Blonde was directed by David Leitch. The 80’s period piece film was penned by Kurt Johnstad based on the graphic novel, The Coldest City, by Antony Johnston. The film stars Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman, Sofia Boutella, and Toby Jones.
Leitch’s film picks up with Lorraine Broughton, played by Charlize Theron, reporting in to her supervisors regarding a recent Berlin assignment to secure a list of international double agents that has gone awry. It’s clear Lorraine’s MI6 supervisor Eric Gray, played by Toby Jones, and the CIA supervisor, played by John Goodman, are ready to utilize Lorraine as their scapegoat. Much to Lorraine’s chagrin, she’s got no choice but to explain herself. The film cross cuts between current time and flashbacks of the Berlin mission Lorraine was assigned. As the film flashbacks to the mission, the audience is quickly introduce to a brash and rule-defying agent David Percival, played by James McAvoy, who is Lorraine’s point of contact for her mission. The story begins to unravel and it is up to audience to try to crack the unanswered question -who is the real traitor?- or to simply enjoy the story as Lorraine explains it to her supervisors.
Lorraine is the film’s narrator as she explains how she was set-up with a without-a-single-fuck-to-give attitude… as a result… the film is slow…
So, we’ve all been there, we’re thinking we’re gong to see one type of film. We buy the ticket(s). We’re watching the film, and quickly realize what was marketed to us is not what we’re watching. That’s not the complete case in this film; however, if you’re anticipating to watch a film with the same pacing as The Transporter than you’re in for a surprise despite the adrenaline inducing trailers. This movie is taking itself 100% serious, it’s taking its unapologetic time to narrate an action film that will make you yearn for the next action sequence due to exposition scenes set at a tortoise pace. Now, if you love a nice slow paced film, this is the movie for you. Personally, once I settled into the pace, I loved every… fucking… minute.
Other than the best damn actions sequences filmed in this century and in-between droning exposition, the audience is also given one more nugget to revel in. A female love interest… for a female lead character.
I’m game for this. So don’t write any comments about the liberals’ or a Godless Hollywood pushing the “gay agenda”, because I’m not here for that bullshit.
Here’s the thing, I didn’t love Sofia Boutella‘s performance as the film’s ingenue slash love interest role, Delphine Lasalle. Hence, me describing Sofia’s role as a nugget instead of a gem. Sofia is playing a “French expat”, God only knows why a sane person would leave France, and head to a soviet country (no spoilers here)? But there she is, a young French woman down in the ol’ USSR, Delphine is in over her head in a world of espionage, double agents, and a crumbling Soviet Union. As a well meaning, doe-eyed, and sex-positive woman, Delphine proves to not be about that life. Did Sofia smoke those sex scenes with the veteran Charlize? Yes, she did. Did Sofia pull off the well-meaning caught in the cross fire innocent with a twisted past? No. It’s just didn’t play. She lacked a depth in her performance. Granted her character didn’t have an arc, she served as a plot device for the film’s main character, which is the sole purpose of a love interest. However, I know that a young Natalie Portman, Zoe Saldana, or Angelina Jolie‘s, performance would have piqued my interest about the character. I would have wanted a one-off just to see how a girl like Sofia got involved in that type of life. I would have cared. It’s unfortunate that I did not – shameful even.
Guess we’ll have to fight for one thing at a time, huh? We’ll save the fight to end the “manic pixie dream girl” trope for another day. Let’s take the ‘W’ for a film starring a female lead action hero making it to the silver screen. And! A female action hero who was not adopted by a man who took her under his wing, and that’s why she’s the exception. Or a female action hero who inadvertently picked up skills, because her boyfriend or husband was involved in that world. But just a film that says you, the audience, will accept that this woman can do all of these things because she wants to, and most importantly, because she’s capable.
Cheers to Hollywood.
Oh, and, James McAvoy was cool. I’ve seen him play this role before. He’s efficient at it.
What say you?