Movie: Atomic Blonde (2017)

As with every movie or book blog: spoilers spoilers spoilers!!!

My Thoughts While Watching:

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.  Uncle Jim said it was like a female Jason Bourne. I can see that.

From the opening scene, I can tell that I will love the cinematography styling of this movie. A man is being chased in an overcoat, his underwear and boots: there is something about the snowflakes that is mesmerizing.  It is as if I could freeze any frame and look at the minute detail of the flakes.  Of course there is an immediate death that we know will be impactful, after all, they opened the whole movie with it.

The story shows us Lorraine (Theron) being interviewed by both British and American intelligence about her most recent mission in East Berlin 1989.  The movie is not set up from her point of view but from what actually happens along the way.  On occasion it would cut back to the interrogation room where Lorraine continued telling her version of the story to Gray-UK interests (Toby Jones) and Curzfeld-US interests (John Goodman).

Holy crap the music.  THE MUSIC!  I loved this soundtrack from the beginning until the end. It was my youth! There was not a single song played that I was like “ugh”.  I sang along to most as each.  The fight scenes were choreographed to the music.  I would love to hear the director’s take on his music selection and how he wove it into the threads of the movie.  It was 1989, it was set in tumultuous Germany, it was a revolution (for young people, for the tearing down of the Berlin wall, for railing against a corrupt government and so much more).

I love Toby Jones in every random two-bit part he plays (even in Ever After….I LOVE a good intrigue)!

I also enjoyed the editing for this film. Three scenes in particular play out well for me: 1-The scene where it pans from him steeling the car to it rolling away in a blaze to his walking away-the pan around of that was great, 2-During a car scene when the truck is t-boned, it stands on it’s bumper as it slides down the street (not rolled on it’s side like the majority of movie stunts) and 3-The big fight scene with Theron was shot in close and tight, it made it both confusing and more intense (IMHO).

The brutality during 99 Luft Balloons…just wow.

“Larry Flint, the champion of free speech.” – true statement, no matter whether you support the man or not.

Another thing I like about the cinematography was the neon lighting throughout.

And as we began the movie, we begin our wrap up with similar cinematography only this time it is feathers floating, not snowflakes.

Can we say fabulous shoes?  WAIT FOR IT…THE TWIST!!

In a final clever twist – the list that was sought throughout the movie, the movie pans to computer print, types out list and then the credits roll as if they are the list being read.

Loved it, loved the music, loved a female spy.  Watch it, tell me what you think!

Some Interviews and Extra Video:


IMDB Synopsis: An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.


Lead Actress: Charlize Theron

Lead Actor: James McAvoy

Supporting Female: Sofia Boutella

Supporting Male: John Goodman

Supporting Male: Toby Jones

Director: David Leitch


1 Ugh – 2 Meh – 3 I don’t hate it? – 4 That was solid. – 5 Loved It!

Cinematography: 5

Costume Design: 5

Film Editing: 4

Makeup and Hairstyling: 4

Music: 5

Production Design: 4

Sound Editing/Mixing: 4

Writing: 4

Overall score: 35 out of 40 (judge me, I do not care)



Additional Movie Info:

It received a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 77% Fresh.  It received a Rotten Tomato audience rating of 64% liking it.  Average Rating: 3.5/5 with a number of User Ratings: 33,419.

Movie Reviews:

Specs:  Release date: 12 March 2017 (USA) / Runtime: 115 minutes / Budget: $30M

IMDB Trivia:

  • Charlize Theron had eight personal trainers to help her master her intensely physical performance. She also trained with Keanu Reeves who was preparing for John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017).
  • Charlize Theron cracked two teeth while filming.
  • Charlize Theron spent five years developing this project.
  • The key fight sequence that unfolds in a real Berlin building lasts for almost 10 minutes in what appears to be an unbroken take when, in fact, the sequence comprises almost 40 separate shots seamlessly stitched together. Though filmed chronologically from start to finish, nearly half the splices needed some degree of CGI assistance. Swish-pans provided the simplest solutions for smooth cuts and door frames provided vertical seams for smoothly bridging some segments.
  • The movie is based on Antony Johnston and Sam Hart’s 2012 graphic novel The Coldest City, which revolves around a spy who has to find a list of double agents who are being smuggled into the West. It took 45 minutes to film Charlize Theron’s sex scene with Sofia Boutella. Theron found the scene easy and attributed this fact to them both being dancers.
  • One character makes a brief, jaundiced reference to David Hasselhoff being in town. Hasselhoff was indeed a minor figure in German pop culture during the period surrounding the fall of the Berlin Wall. In a March 2013 piece in London’s The Guardian, Emma Hartley reported that his song “Looking for Freedom” was number one on the German charts for eight weeks in the summer of 1989 (several months before the wall fell in November 1989); and on New Year’s Eve that year, Hasselhoff performed a concert atop what was then left of the wall.
  • In the early part of the movie, where Charlize Theron is on a car and tries to beat the two escorts, the tunnel sequence in Berlin was the same tunnel used in Captain America: Civil War (2016), the part where Black Panther chases down Bucky Barnes. It is also the same tunnel used in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 (2015) when Katniss Everdeen and her team try to get to President Snow.
  • Before the final fight, a Russian song is playing, “Capricious Horses” by Vladimir Vysotsky, with the words “No one is late for their meeting with God”.
  • When credit score begin, the word “password” is displayed and “The Coldest City” is entered. The movie was based on the graphic novel “The Coldest City.”
  • Use of the Wilhelm scream during the apartment fight as Lorraine is jumping out of the window.
  • This movie was released in the USA 10211 days after the Berlin Wall fell, which is almost as long as the total amount of time the Berlin Wall was in existence (10316 days).
  • Tetris is on the screen of the microcomputer in the foreground of the scene where they are giving Spyglass a new identity.
  • Broughton’s character is seen throughout the movie drinking Stoli on ice, which is a Russian vodka. This reinforces the idea that she is the Russian double agent until the finale reveal.
  • When meeting Delphine’s in her friend’s bar, she orders Lorraine her specialty drink to which Lorraine replies “You pay attention” and then Delphine says “I look for pleasure in the details” however she seems to miss that Loraine drops her British accent and resumes her American accent.

One comment

  1. You should never be afraid to be judged, especially when you make your points so well. I loved Theron in this film. She totally sold it as the action star who would equally at home on the catwalks of Milan. Loved her! That said, I found the plot was too complicated for its own good. It just dragged on and on, and when the end twist came, I’d ceased to care.

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