Cert 15 115mins Stars 3
This brash and sleazy Cold War action thriller is a lace and leather post punk party for lovers of fetishised violence.
It takes a salacious glee in it’s own stylishly dressed nastiness and is so busy being screamingly self aware and cool, its indifferent to your viewing pleasure.
After her kick ass turns in Mad Max: Fury Road and The Fate of the Furious, Charlize Theron is the ferocious kick ass queen of Hollywood.
Here she’s a female Jason Bourne in killer heels, suspenders and sunglasses, with an the inventive use for a rubber hose.
As top-level MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton she’s chasing a top secret list of operatives, an ‘atomic bomb’ of information also wanted by the Russians and Americans.
Theron’s in fine fighting form and we see a great deal of her form due to her frequent ice baths, which are evidently very cold indeed.
There’s a brutal terrifically well choreographed and prolonged fight which begins in a stairwell. Such a shame the rest of the film doesn’t come close for ambition or intensity.
A deliciously feral James McAvoy co-stars as MI6’s Berlin agent David Percival, and Toby Jones and John Goodman don’t break a sweat as the suits back in London, and for what it’s worth, love interest Sofia Boutella is much better than she was in The Mummy.
Set to the backdrop of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, all the counter espionage seems somewhat moot.
Not that the script is interested in politics as such, it just uses the period setting as wallpaper and is a useful way for the scriptwriters to avoid having to deal with the internet.
Meanwhile the dialogue is functional and the humour is off target. Beneath the surface sheen and synth soundtrack there’s little to make us care about this Atomic Blonde, as it’s never sufficiently explosive or electrifying.