Thursday Night Movie Club
Atomic Blonde
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Release Date: 28 July 2017

Director: David Leitch
Charlize Theron
James McAvoy
Eddie Marsan
JJohn Goodman
Toby Jones
James Faulkner
Roland Møller
Sofia Boutella
Bill Skarsgård
Sam Hargrave
Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson
Til Schweiger
Barbara Sukowa
Attila Árpa
Martin Angerbauer
Lorraine Broughton
David Percival
Emmett Kurzfeld
Eric Gray
Chief 'C'
Aleksander Bremovych
Delphine Lasalle
James Gasciogne
Yuri Bakhtin
East German Guard #1
East German Guard #2
Atomic Blonde movie poster Atomic Blonde movie poster Atomic Blonde movie poster
Charlize Theron stars as Lorraine Broughton in Atomic Blonde.Atomic Blonde is a fantastic action film. The hand-to-hand fight sequences are brilliantly staged. Actor Charlize Theron looks as though she could beat the stuffing out of her many attackers. The plot has enough double-crosses and red herrings to raise the Titanic. The ending is a surprise.

A battered, bruised and beaten Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is soaking in a tub filled with ice cubes. She has obviously just been put through the wringer. She has been summoned to MI6 in London for a debriefing with her superior Eric Gray (Toby Jones) and CIA agent Emmett Kurzfeld (John Goodman). Broughton will report on her latest mission. MI6 head Chief C (James Faulkner) watches through a one-way mirror. Broughton is clearly ticked off by this meeting. Atomic Blonde is then told through a series of flashback sequences.

Charlize Theron stars in Atomic Blonde.During the days just before the Berlin Wall came down, MI6 agent James Gasciogne (Sam Hargrave) has been murdered by Soviet agent Yuri Bakhtin (Johannes Johannesson). Bakhtin takes Gasciogne's watch, nothing else. The watch contains "The List" (McGuffin #1). The List contains information on every Soviet spy. Who they are. Where they are located. The list was compiled by a Stasi officer known only as Spyglass (Eddie Marsan). Broughton is sent to Berlin, meet with MI6 agent David Percival (James McAvoy), and recover the list.

There is something even more sinister to Broughton's mission. The List contains the identity of an agent named Conrad Satchel. Satchel is alleged to be a double-agent who sold secrets to the Soviets. Satchel must be identified, located and liquefied with extreme prejudice (McGuffin #2).

Everything gets complicated by two events. Bakhtin has not turned over The List to his superiors. Bakhtin has disappeared. Capitalism is about to spread through East Germany. It will become a land of new opportunity. Percival meets with Spyglass who tells Percival that he has memorized The List. Spyglass is now an extremely valuable asset and a danger if this information is discovered(McGuffin #3).

Charlize Theron stars in Atomic Blonde.Atomic Blonde is a film about who is spying on who. Who is the double-agent? Who isn't? Is everyone a double-agent? Who else is looking for this list? CIA agent Kurzfeld's presence at the debriefing indicates the U.S. wants The List. The Soviets obviously want The List. MI6 wants it. French operative Delphine Lasalle (Sofia Boutella) becomes embroiled in the hunt. Are the French after The List or is she the sucker. KGB arms dealer Aleksander Bremovych (Roland Moller) is after The List. He has a large number of thugs at his disposal. Is Bremovych seeking to return The List to his superiors or does he see profit from selling The List? What is Bakhtin doing with The List. Is he dead? Has The List gone missing? Does The List actually exist? Is all of this an elaborate ruse by Spyglass to defect from East Germany? Is there actually an agent Satchel? Is this knowledge intended to aid or hinder Broughton?

Percival is an enigma. His "cover" is a Black Market entrepreneur who can get anything for anyone, at a price. This gives him a vast array of contacts on both sides of the Berlin Wall. Percival knows all the players. Percival knows about The List and he wants it. Percival secretly meets with Bremovych. The two strike a bargain. Percival believes that if The List gets out to the English or Americans, the Cold War could last forever. If The List remains secret, Peace ensues. Or is this just bold talk for a drunken Black Marketeer? Is Percival honest with Bremovych or is this just a delay tactic? Is Percival honest with anyone?

Charlize Theron stars as Lorraine Broughton in Atomic Blonde.Upon her arrival in Berlin, Broughton is escorted by two men who will take her to meet Percival. Their car is being tailed. The men are actually KGB agents. Broughton's cover is blown. Someone has already leaked information. Who? Percival? Percival is the obvious choice to be Satchel.

Making matters worse, CIA agent Kurzfeld goes to Berlin to give Broughton an extra push, expressing the importance of The List and Satchel. These two have met before the debriefing!

The lucky audience of Atomic Blonde is the benefactor of all these questions. The audience is in on all of the secret meetings. Broughton isn't. Neither are Percival and Bremovych. All of this information merely confuses the audience further.

The debriefing informs the audience that at least Broughton survives the mission to Berlin. Others are not so lucky. The body count rises from the very beginning. Some are lucky to be rendered unconscious. Others will need hospitalization. Others will need the morgue.

Charlize Theron and Sofia Boutella star in Atomic Blonde.Charlize Theron is fantastic. She performed most of the fight sequences. She actually looks as though Broughton can hold her own against a plethora of attackers. The fight scenes are right out of any Jason Statham action film. Except there is no humor in them. They are not fun. Director David Leitch films these sequences with extreme seriousness. These are fights for survival. They are fights to the death. Attackers fight on even after being shot. Everyone fights to their last breath, literally.

Theron is beautiful. Her atomic blonde hair and her height make her stand out in any crowd. She uses this to her advantage. A simple wig and she looks completely different. Broughton brings her own brand of cat-and-mouse. Trust in her allies keeps her alive. Suspicion of everyone else keeps her alive too.

Charlize Theron and James McAvoy star in Atomic Blonde.During the attempt to smuggle Spyglass across the border, both Broughton and Percival have their own agendas. Atomic Blonde is a story of who tells who what and when. Broughton gets pissed often. She exclaims exasperatedly, "You didn't think I needed to know that before?"

James McAvoy is also fantastic. The audience just never knows when he is being honest. Is Percival being honest in order to set up a deception? Percival calmly informs Broughton that if he were to spy on her, she would never see him coming. Very true. McAvoy's performance renders Percival's motives and actions questionable. Is Percival trying to do the right thing or is he a profiteer pitting everyone against each other? Is he looking out for the best interests of the world, the Soviets, the British, the Americans, or only himself?

Charlize Theron and Sofia Boutella star in Atomic Blonde.Director David Leitch shoots much of the film in various sepia tones. Exteriors are bland bluish tints. Interiors are bright neon blues and oranges. The world as a whole is cold and bleak. But there are also pockets of vibrancy. East Germany is about to make a radical change into the modern world. There is hope.

Atomic Blonde ends with one surprise after another. All of the i's are dotted and the t's crossed, for the most part. Some questions linger. Nothing wrong with that.

Atomic Blonde is an amazing movie that is probably worth several viewings to discover all of the hidden subtleties in the story. Enjoy!