Sunday, July 30, 2017

Atomic Blonde: flawed, but exactly what I wanted

A group of us watched the movie the other night, and all of us left the theater having enjoyed it--but we all also agreed it had a lot of flaws.  Despite those flaws, however, it was exactly what I had hoped it would be:  stylish, rough, and full of Theron being the toughest person in recent action films.

If Jason Bourne didn't feel bad about what he did and never hesitated to initiate the action, and if he put more of himself into every punch, you'd have Theron's Lorraine Broughton, the Atomic Blonde of the film's title.  Theron stalks through this film like an animal on the hunt, and in many ways she is always hunting.  She's fine in the still scenes, but she's at her best in action, kicking butt and taking hits with pain but an unstoppable determination to continue the fight.

Having said that, the film's flaws are many and easy to spot.  The plot's final reveal does not stand up to scrutiny; you just have to go with it.  The violence is way, way over the top and beyond what any real person could take--as is typical these days in action films.  Worst of all, the slow scenes that are supposed to be tense and build to more tension never work as well as they should.

None of that matters, though, next to the pleasure of watching Theron work.  Add to that the spectacle of James MacAvoy chewing the scenery in his most fun role in ages, and you have a film that I heartily recommend for anyone seeking an action flick.

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