1.) If there is one actor who stands out in this movie, it is James McAvoy as David Percival. Charlize Theron is fine as a hard-boiled heroine, but McAvoy stands out more for a bigger range of his performance from comical to serious. Theron remains mostly serious throughout the movie, so McAvoy gets the most attention in acting despite Theron being the main actress.
2.) With the music, visual filters, and cinematography, I do like how the tone is consistent throughout the movie. It feels grim, dark yet bright, and colorless. While I am not that big into that type of atmosphere, I do admire that the filmmakers know how to make a steady tone.
3.) The action choreography reminds so much of the John Wick movies. In fact, the director of this movie, David Leitch was involved in those movies. The best action moments are the two “one-shot” sequences in a building and a hotel room. They show the painful blows against each fighter, and how tired they are as the sequence continues. They clearly got the idea from a certain Marvel Netflix show involving a blind man…
1.) …However, I spotted several ways where Charlize Theron’s character should have been killed or incapacitated. I know she is supposed to be a strong woman, but with some of those blows she received in this movie, I am surprised that she was still standing. It really pushes my suspension of disbelief, and I am sure that some people will not buy her survival skills.
2.) There is one big narrative problem: the entire movie relies on the main character, Lorraine Broughton talking about the events she went through to MI6. Throughout the entire movie, I never felt that she was in danger, because she is the one narrating those events, meaning she clearly survived the whole case. It would have been better if the movie started in the beginning, and then end with the interrogation.
3.) I found the story hard to follow. The basics are simple: Lorraine has to find the List that contains the names of all the agents of the Soviet Union before they do. The events leading up to the last act are confusing. There are plenty of moments where I felt that movie halts for a bit, and a few plot points that are not properly explained enough. As a result, I hardly cared for the dangers and tensions other than the aforementioned action sequences.
Based on the 2012 graphic novel called The Coldest City (I never heard of it either), Atomic Blonde really does not have much going for it. Few things like the fight choreography are great to look at, but there is nothing much to comment about this movie other than it has been done before and done better (i.e. Casino Royale). If the plot was easy to follow, I would give it a better rating, but as it stands, this is one movie that is best left closed other than fans of the John Wick movies, but that is slightly pushing it.