My husband suggested I do a movie review for the blog. He recommended Atomic Blonde for a number of reasons: 1 - the strong woman portrayed in the main character, 2 - the fashion and style, and 3 - the music from the eighties! He failed to mention the main reason, 4 - he really wanted to see it!
He had me already with the title! Reasons 1 through 3 were right up my alley. I was excited to do this, couldn't wait. If I'd have known about reason 4, I would have re-considered this whole idea. I was double crossed, but now I've seen it, so here it is!
The sinister grittiness ignites right away. It's an action packed movie with car chases, violence, powerful visuals and heart pounding terror. The story is based on the novel "The Coldest City" by AntonyJohnston and Sam Hart.
It takes place in Berlin in 1989 during the civil unrest which led to the destruction of the Berlin Wall. Charlize Theron plays an undercover British spy, Lorraine Broughton who is sent to recover a highly sensitive list of double agents. The list has been misplaced (of course) and everyone and his dog appears to be desperate to get their hands on it.
She partners up with locally based under cover British agent David Percival (played by James McAvoy), and with all odds stacked against her she ricochets her way between East and West Berlin dodging and fighting off a plethora of German and Russian baddies throughout the highly charged city and spine chilling situation.
The fights are intense. Every punch, stab, groan and last breath taken is horribly real, likely due to the stuntman and director of Atomic Blonde, David Leitch. But Theron always comes back up for air, most of the time only slightly frazzled. Her enemies take quite a bit of killing which requires an enormous amount of blood curdling gruesomeness - be prepared!
Now Can We Talk About Fashion?
With every stunning wardrobe change, which included a different coat in every scene, all of them fabulous (she must have had a lot of luggage), including pieces from Dior and Stuart Weitzman boots, Theron is the chicest spy you've ever seen. What she can do in over-the-knee boots and a white trench coat should be, and is illegal! If you've ever had any doubt as to the value of a pair of red stilettos, Theron proves they're as lethal as they are gorgeous.
When she's not battling off assailants, she's striding about the bleakest alleyways and worn torn deprecated buildings in East Berlin making contacts. Or back in the west, she sits provocatively at a nightclub bar in a long gown and high heels, knocks back stiff drinks like they're going out of fashion, chain smokes and conveniently meets her (obligatory action movie) romance for some steamy lesbian interaction with her co-star Sofia Boutella who plays the role of a less experienced French spy.
I was in London during much of the 80's so for me the soundtrack was astounding. I love the pick of New Wave music that pulls you back in time to the era of the movie. Songs included "Hungry like the Wolf" Duran Duran, "Under Pressure" David Bowie and "London Calling" The Clash to name but a few. All the song choices successfully reinforced the tension that was so evident in a divided and dangerous city.
Above and Beblonde says:
Top marks for fashion, music and an extremely cool, badass and very dangerous heroine! Theron proves she is a one woman Navy Seal team in the first fifteen minutes. As a result, the number of lengthy and gratuitous violent scenes were overkill for me. Needless to say, the hubby really enjoyed it!
You may find you need a stiff drink yourself after this movie!
Karen Serino is a life and style blogger, sharing fashion, fitness and fun for youthful women in their forties, fifties and beyond.
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Click the picture below to see my interview with the lovely Jonet Wooten from Fabulously Chic Over 50