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Top reviews from the United States
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When my wife suggested that we watch this I was relieved because I wanted to watch it but was worried that I would find it enjoyable midway through the movie. With her suggestion, I felt there were good odds that at least one of us would like it and we both ended up loving it! I feel like the studio must not have marketed this movie up to its potential because I was blown away by how perfectly the late 80s atmosphere was captured. It felt and sounded like an 80s movie, but the visuals were definitely modern. There were so many scenes were it seemed like things were shot with minimal cuts involved. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys action, intrigue, collapsing walls, neon, and perfectly timed 80s music.
Charlize Theron can throw a mean punch. I mention that because there are many actors - male and female - who cannot make a fight scene look realistic. The reason: Physical combat is ferocious and to make a fight scene appear realistic the actor must bring that sense of ferocity to it. He or she must convey to the audience that this is not simply a well-choreographed dance with a punch or two thrown in for good measure but is, instead, a battle for life itself. Theron brings that sense of ferocity to the screen time and again in "Atomic Blonde." That's one of the reasons why I think this spy thriller is a 5-star film. There are other reasons, of course, starting with the fact that it takes place at a pivotal moment in world history - the collapse of the Soviet empire - in what was once the hub of the Cold War - Berlin. The cinematography wonderfully captures the edgy mood of that city at that particular moment in time when the world's eyes were on the protests that would eventually lead to the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. The plot is convoluted and I recognize that there are people who do not like that. They would prefer what you might call a "John Wayne Western" plot - good guys against bad guys in a straightforward storyline. After spending nearly 50 years as a journalist - much of that time overseas - I can say, however, that the world seldom works like that. There are hidden agendas in almost every action taken by governments and the men and women they employ. There are double crosses, outright lies, betrayals both personal and professional, and subtle manipulations of facts and events. "Atomic Blonde" illustrates those truths very well. The acting is top notch. James McAvoy, as the British station chief in Berlin, is superb. John Goodman as a CIA official, who likely knows more than he admits, is well suited for his role, and Theron is brilliant as the British spy sent to bring a defector with valuable information to London. The verdict: This is a high-octane spy thriller with plenty of action and some really fine acting by men and women who know their craft. It's a movie I have no hesitation recommending to family and friends.
Reviewed in the United States on November 25, 2017
The film for anyone who wants to see a real action hero as a woman, no Charlie's Angels here, but a bad ase among the baddest. Ms. Theron does all of her own stunts and has the abrasions to prove it. The fimn features Berlin pre-unification with the GDR, which is a nice little historical romp. Some great car scenes, amazing fights, and interrrogations. No one holds a candle to Theron in the film. Fantastic to see an action movie where the female role is not limited to seduction.
This is set in the Reagan Era at the end of the cold war as the Berlin Wall comes down. It does a great job of capturing that era, with all the grit and the glitz and tudes.
Action Packed! And the action is very realistic and the damage that comes from that kind of action is shown well. They do a good job portraying that. The heros get the crap kicked out of them and keep on fighting.
They managed to surprise me a couple of times without breaking the flow.
Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2017
If Charlize Theron is in a film, I will be watching the film. Her acting and physical dedication to the fight scenes are on point. Theron always brings her best to a role however the story made me almost fall asleep at certain points and James McAvoy was funny but not funny enough to save this film. All style and very little substance.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 11, 2018
If your looking for action that puts you on the edge of your seat more than the Bond or Bourne offerings then this film is for you, shot in a range of colors that portrays the harshness of Berlin just before the wall came down our heroine goes from one frantic situation to another, collecting more bruises and cuts as she goes on her path of searching for the truth. And from what I have learnt from the background of the making of this film she does most of the stunts herself, the tension never lets up as we see the baddies chasing a wrist watch that has some hidden secrets ( long before the days of flash drives ) A really good entertaining story, and I hope to see more of this actresses work on similar subjects in the future.
5.0 out of 5 starsThis is Badass , fights ,betrayals and Blondes .
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 1, 2018
This is a great film directed beautifully from the producer of 'John Wick', yes, odd but true, i've since watching this seen both Wick films and not been overly impressed as Blonde is so much better , it has a plot for a start.
Theron is an ice cold blonde killer and she is wonderful in the role ,unlike Wick's 2D hero ,think along the lines of Lady Penelope without the strings and a wardrobe thats just as killer as she is . The bad guys are , without being dull or stupid and all this is played out in Berlin in the last days of the wall ,so cold war tension abounds , one of the things that James Bond lacks today sadly as that is his setting , hmm why dont they make Bond films set in there time setting like you would expect from a Christie or a Conon Doyle ? odd. The other reason why this is worth your time is the sound track ,its 89 and we're talking New Order Bowie and Depech Mode , spot on there .If your too young to remember those , this is a good way of finding out what great music sounds like and worth investigating .
The film makeing is very important to me as im a fan of Lean ,Leonie and Hichcock so just slapping it together won't work with me ,John Wick, im looking at you there, For someone whos known as a producer i wasn't expecting much but he did it ,i won't spoil the film for you but there is a stunning 7-8 min take on a stairwell between 3 actors and the camera ,non of which stops moving the whole time from beginning too end ,with the camera in the right place all the time , that scene alone makes this film worth watching ,its breathtaking ,honestly. If you've seen John Wick , and if it sounds like ive got it in for that film . your right ! i found it very receptive and dull , i fell asleep through both of them , thats how i know i was bored . Do yourself a big favour and give Wick a swerve and go strait for Atomic Blonde .
PS The British cast in it are of corse top notch , Toby Jones is underplaying his part as a secret service minion , are you watching Bond franchise ? you might think about including him next time.
I've heard War and peace is the most boring book on the planet. I have now come across a serious contender for that title but in DVD format. I give you Atomic Blonde. If I had a choice to get the family jewels roasted by a taser or watching this again then fire up the tazer. The film is sert in 1989 berlin and seems to be filmed in more or less very washed out Monochrome with pale bluish greys everywhere and the lighting seems to be less than 40 watts making everything so drab and depressing there is no colour anywhere why they do this to depict soviet era life I have no idea. . everything is bleak cold and really unpleasant and everything seems so uninviting it really makes for difficult watching. Charlize theron plays an "Elite" assassin named Lorraine Broughton an Mi6 agent who is sent to Berlin to find a swiss watch that has a microfilm inside that has all the names and contacts of operations currently in berlin. They could have replaced Theron with a Wooden Fence post she is so wooden and her lines were delivered in such a boring monotone it is really hard going trying to engage with the characters or the film in general. All through this film there is a LOT of smoking and drinking which after a time start to really grate on the nerves. This film is roughly 1 hour 50 minutes long and for me itis 1 hour 49 minutes too long. I can't even recommend this a a time waster on a wet sunday afternoon so for me it's another headed for the charity shops
Awful film. I was so looking forward to seeing the 'female John Wick' kick some ass and kill a zillion bad guys who deserved it (Charlize Theron definitely looks capable) but the plot was awful, there wasn't really that much ass kicking and the story got more and more ludicrous and unbelievable as it went on. The lesbian element was a joke - and the God-awful teenage male nonsense 'sex scene' was about as sexy as a tumour. Awful. And the 'twists' at the end... What were they thinking?! Absolute waste of time and money. UGH
5.0 out of 5 starsA brilliant straight vodka on the rocks spy film
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 1, 2018
Review in a nutshell? This is a straight vodka on the rocks spy film: Superb soundtrack; brutal action; relentless fight scenes; blunt humor; and ear to ear grin while you're watching it. (A nice twist too)! If you're looking for something fast & furious & fantastically chic and sexy - Atomic Blonde will be right up your street.