I have a hate/love relationship with action movies. I find most of them little more than fascist propaganda, their heroes with the moral compass of a locust swarm. The ‘why’ is more important than anything else, and Atomic Blonde eventually falls apart in the ‘why’ department.
I like Charlize Theron a whole lot, and she is spectacular in the role. The centerpiece action sequence / killing spree is remarkable in its length, its brutality, and its creative use of the environment. She pulls off amazing fighting sequences, and that part of the production is top notch.
My favorite Charlize trivia is from Mad Max: Fury Road, when Tom Hardy told how she broke his nose. Charlize hits hard.
I had to roll my eyes in disgust, however, several times. Minor quibbles like poor direction and song choice: Cat People? Again? It’s a bit overused at this point and tacked on to cover over a clunky, annoying sequence.
But, the Cold War propaganda is what irked me most. Now we are back into Cold War 2, with anti-Russian propaganda filling the airwaves, and–no joke–multiple front provocations pushing us toward nuclear annihilation, the last thing I want to see is more CIA-approved Russia bashing. Russians are one-dimensional evil boogeymen in this film, and you can kill them by the dozens. No problem.
The point of the plot seems to be to demonize Russians and make killing them seem like good old fun. This is not sophisticated drama. By closing credits I wondered why Charlize agreed to this thing without some reflection on what it all meant and perhaps some improvements. Disappointing.
It’s a comedy novel. Only $2.99.
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