WHAT’S THE DEAL: Charlize Theron burns up the screen in JOHN WICK mode as a British super spy in this action-packed, East Berlin-set Cold War thriller.
WHY SEE IT: After commandeering MAD MAX: FURY ROAD into practically her own starring vehicle, Charlize clearly learned that action fans will buy her as an action heroine and are hungry for more. She’s tough as nails in ATOMIC BLONDE — reminiscent of Geena Davis’ turn in THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT — and there’s never a moment in the movie when you don’t believe she can capably destroy every man in the room. James McAvoy also delivers a frothy performance full of zest and zingers.
THE FLICK FLACK: Other than the somewhat predictable outcome, there’s an approximation feel to the proceedings; stylistically and action-wise we’ve seen it all before, at times done better. But the thumping, nicely curated ’80s New Wave soundtrack helps mightily to redeem the tone and pacing. I’m a bit disappointed that Blondie’s ATOMIC (from a decade earlier) didn’t close out the film, though.
NOTABLE NOTES: The film is directed by former stuntman and JOHN WICK helmer (uncredited, though) David Leitch, so if some of the close-quarter action, killer staircase choreography, and head-shot CGI splatter looks familiar, now you know why. DEADPOOL 2 is Leitch’s next project.
MORE INFO: www.atomicblonde.com
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