Score: B
Rated R for extreme violence — 120 minutes

2003 was a very good year for South African born actress Charlize Theron. That was the year that she received her Best Actress Academy Award for playing a serial killer in the film, MONSTER.

2015 was a very good year for movie goers such as myself. In our eyes Theron became the female “Mel Gibson” for her amazing physical performance in MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. I really liked that film.

2017 is yet another milestone year for Charlize Theron. Playing British spy MI-6 agent Lorraine Broughton in ATOMIC BLONDE — she blows every other actress or actor in Hollywood out of the ice cold water. Nobody else can do what she does physically. She has created a lethal James Bond character without the sex, humor or warmth. In ATOMIC BLOND she is a killing machine in what is a very dark violent film. The action takes place in a dark Berlin — during late 1989 when the Wall is about to come down.

ATOMIC BLONDE serves up a very different kind of violence. The action never quits. Each scene is stylized with the coordinated choreography of a director who is a veteran stuntman and stunt coordinator. Director David Leitch chose his crew carefully. The film has excellent art direction. The use of shading and colors is most effective. The film has shades of Leitch’s wonderful film JOHN WICK (2014).

The fight scenes are unbelievable because forty-one year old Theron did her own stunts.

As so often the case with far too many American films of late, the script is lacking something. In the case of ATOMIC BLONDE, there is a coldness throughout. Charlize Theron plays a spy that we really don’t care about. We may applaud her style, but there is absolutely no emotional connection. A few may be turned off by an intense lesbian love scene. Unfortunately, many of the sequences are just too long. It is the length of these scenes and the common flash-back format that left me cold. The 120 minute script by Kurt Johnstad should have been shortened.

Theron — who became an American citizen ten years ago, is joined by five great actors in this film: James McAvoy, John Goodman, Eddy Marsan, Toby Jones and Sofia Boutella.

ATOMIC BLONDE is based on the graphic novel “The Coldest City, written by Antony Johnston and illustrated by Sam Hart. The artistic opening is brilliant.


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