Blu-ray Review: Atomic Blonde



Atomic Blonde should be a better movie than it is. That’s not to say it’s a bad movie – far from it. It’s very entertaining. But with all the elements it has in it, it should be a great film. However, it’s just a good film.

Set in Berlin, 1989, right when the Berlin Wall is about to fall, a list containing information on every active agent in the field is stolen and MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is brought in to find it. She meets up with David Percival (James McAvoy) another MI6 agent who has been in the field a little too long and gotten a little wacky. There is even a french agent, Delphine Lasalle (Sofia Boutella), thrown in as a romantic interest for Broughton.

Broughton navigates her way through the twist and turns of this spy story and manages to keep the viewer guessing until the very end. It’s a fun story that starts a little slow, but things really ramp up during the infamous stairway scene.

If you watch this movie for only one reason, it should be the stairway scene. A nearly 10 minute single shot of Broughton fighting several guys as she attempts to keep a Stasi defector with vital info alive. The scene is wonderfully choreographed and to top it off Theron does all her own stunts. I’m always a sucker for a long take sequences and this is one of the best I’ve seen in a while.

This is a well shot movie. It looks great and it has a marvelous soundtrack, with hits from David Bowie, George Michael, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Nena and others, it keeps your head bobbing through the whole film. However, it seems like a missed opportunity to throw some Blondie in there. So with all of these great elements why is the film just okay?

I think part of the problem was I didn’t really care about the characters that much. There are some solid twists at the end, but none of them wowed me the way they were meant to. Theron and McAvoy are both in top form in this movie, but I never managed to really care about any of the characters.

So yeah, it has some fantastic fight sequences, but the story backing them up wasn’t enough to sell me on the film as a whole. Again, none of this is to say the movie is bad. It’s a fun movie, it just feels like it could be better than it actually is.

The film is presented in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio and DTS:X Immersive Audio. This a very well made film and looks and it sounds fantastic.

Extras include: Deleted/Extended Scenes (7 min.), Welcome To Berlin (4 min.), Blondes Have More Guns (7 min.), Spymaster (4 min.), Anatomy of a Fight Scene (8 min.), Story In Motion (4 min.), Audio Commentary with Director David Leitch and Editor Elisabet Ronaldsdottir.

I had heard that this movie was more style than substance and now that I’ve seen it I have to say I agree. It’s a fun movie with some great moments, but in never quite reaches the moments of greatness it feels like it should have. But man, that staircase sequence….

Universal Pictures presents Atomic Blonde. Written by Kurt Johnstad, based on the graphic novel “The Coldest City” by Antony Johnston and Sam Hart. Directed by David Leitch. Starring: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman and Toby Jones. Running time: 114 min. Rating: R for sequences of strong violence, language throughout and some sexuality/nudity. Released on Blu-Ray: November 14, 2017.

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