Screen Savor: Duck and Cover for an ‘Atomic Blonde’

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Charlize Theron and Sofia Boutella are ready to go off in “Atomic Blonde” (Focus)

 Just in case you didn’t get your fill of ass-kicking female superheroes with the June release of “Wonder Woman” the fast and furious Charlize Theron vehicle “Atomic Blonde” (Focus) is blasting into theaters. Based on the graphic novel series by Antony Johnston and Sam Hunt, “Atomic Blonde” also earns points for having an unapologetically queer main character.

Theron plays MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton, whose interrogation by her superior, Gray (Toby Jones), and CIA agent Kurzfeld (John Goodman) is being observed by British Intelligence boss C (James Faulkner). An important mission, taking place in 1989 as the Berlin Wall was about to be torn down, goes terribly wrong, resulting in considerable loss of life. Even worse, a sought-after list of spy names associated with intelligence agencies has gotten into the wrong hands.

A whiz at disguises and accents, as well as a master marksman and expert in hand-to-hand combat, Lorraine is able to make her way around East and West Berlin with a minimum of problems. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t encounter more than her fair share of trouble.

At the top of that list is the slightly rogue agent David Percival (James McAvoy), whose loyalty is questionable. Lorraine is wary of his promises, claims and action, but he is able to help her gain entry to places she might not be able to get near. He also, eventually, introduces Lorraine to Spyglass (Eddie Marsden), a Stasi agent with a photographic memory, who is being pursued by the bad guys and the good guys with equal determination.

Lorraine also meets French agent Delphine Lasalle (Sofia Boutella). Initially suspicious of Delphine’s motives, Lorraine eventually realizes that she and Delphine are playing for the same team – in more ways than one.

With more twists and turns than the Trump White House, “Atomic Blonde” features astonishing fight sequences. This makes sense since director David Leitch is also a stuntman and stunt coordinator. The `80s soundtrack is fantastic, even if it does focus primarily on the music of the early part of the decade. All in all, “Atomic Blonde” makes for scorching summer entertainment. It’s official; Theron can now be forgiven for “Æon Flux”. Rating: B+ 

 


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