Atomic Blonde: Charlize Theron struggles to impress under the neon lights.

Sex, guns and stunning women, every butch bloke’s dream when they go to the cinema to watch the latest action thriller release. Except, this wasn’t James Bond. This was in a completely different world, in a good way. A female protagonist fighting through the blood, gore and sexy women, definitely a different viewing experience.

Atomic Blonde follows the journey of a British spy, Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) on her story of events of when she tries to obtain a lucrative timepiece from a bunch of Russians during the Cold War in Berlin. Told to not trust anyone, she gets involved with David Percival (James McAvoy) and Delphine Lasalle (Sofia Boutella) to defeat the enemy and get what she has come to Berlin for, a top secret list locked inside an expensive watch.

I am one for having a female protagonist show her strengths in spy film with mass extremism and blood splattering everywhere. However, Charlize Theron failed to impress. It felt like she wasn’t putting her full acting abilities across. The fight scenes were incredible and were executed to perfection with extremely difficult camera movements. But, the rest of the time, she was bland and not interesting enough. Her character didn’t feel fully developed. As a female lead, you want to know more about her, don’t you? James McAvoy (David Percival) on the other hand, his character was in-depth and easier to read, you knew his intentions and you knew what type of character he was throughout, I didn’t get that with Charlize.

David Leitch is renowned for his stunts directions but hasn’t been as much in the limelight when it comes to directing. Like I said before, the stunt scenes were on-point and the execution from the actors made it believable and intense. Aside from the stunts though, you can see that his direction lacked in other areas. I can’t fully scrutinise him though, his use of lighting made the film more enjoyable to watch, the neon lights made each shot explode with colour. The effect, in my opinion, is very underrated and within this 80’s-esque film, it works so well. It gives the film that extra edge and emphasizes the atomic-ness.

Overall, Atomic Blonde was average. Personally, I wasn’t amazed by it. Some elements were great but I wanted it to all be great. The storyline was confusing, you were in and out and you didn’t really know where you were going. A 2-hour journey to only be baffled and confused by the end of it. A journey I won’t want to be taking again anytime soon.

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