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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Cindy Prascik's Review of Atomic Blonde

Dearest Blog: Thanks to a half-day closing at the office, I was able to avoid the weekend rush and catch a Friday-afternoon screening of Atomic Blonde.
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers.
Against a backdrop of the tumultuous days leading to the fall of the Berlin Wall, agents from several nations race to claim a stolen piece of valuable intelligence.
Regular reader(s) will have heard me say time and again that I haven't much interest in movies about women, but apparently my interest can be piqued when said women are beating the ever-lovin' crap out of everyone. Take note, Hollywood.
If we're being honest, Atomic Blonde is mostly a bunch of wild action sequences strung together with a thin of bit spy-thriller thread. The plot is compelling, with a few great twists, but it can't steal the spotlight from the movie's fight and chase scenes. It is a testament to how great the action is that you won't mind that a bit. It's a testament to the rest that the movie still has a few surprises up its sleeve. 
The lovely Charlize Theron is...well...lovely, ceaselessly making fashion statements while knocking people's lights out. (Note to self: Anyone dressed too nicely is probably a spy.) Theron is mesmerizing, carrying the movie as effortlessly as her character puts down the bad guys. James McAvoy, Sofia Boutella, Eddie Marsan, John Goodman, and Toby Jones round out an excellent supporting cast. Atomic Blonde features terrific graffiti-style graphics on the titles and credits, some beautiful scenery, and the best fight choreography I've seen in many a day. Full marks for all of the above, but if I told you any of that was the movie's high point, I'd be lying. No, the best thing about Atomic Blond is its wonderful soundtrack, featuring a couple-dozen of the 80s best nuggets, including the original German versions of two of my favorites: Peter Schilling's Major Tom (Coming Home) and Nena's 99 Luftballons. As most of the film's brutality is set to music, a final face-off is all the more effective for being backed by nothing but the sound of punches landing and people getting the wind knocked out of them.
Atomic Blonde clocks in at 115 minutes and is rated R for "sequences of strong violence, language throughout, and some sexuality/nudity."
These days people talk a lot about the importance of representation in film. I'm not sure anyone will be calling Atomic Blonde an "important representation for girls," but if, like me, you're a girl who would rather jump off a cliff than sit through Wild or its ilk again, it's certainly a step in the right direction. 
Of a possible nine Weasleys, Atomic Blonde gets eight.
Until next time...


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