Thursday, August 3, 2017

Atomic Blonde

If there is one thing you know about a Charlize Theron movie is that she will commit to the role 100 percent and this is the movie that proves the rule. As a butt kicking British agent on a path of revenge in the last eighties, she is a magnificent piece of work. She is also one of the producers on the film so she got to work out her issues by making her character extra crazy and violent, something I had no problem with. I just will never be in a car with a women wearing stilettos at anytime in my life.

There is a plot about a 'list' that is an 'atomic bomb of information' during the Cold War but that is not the point of this film. This movie is merely a path for Charlize to follow while she works her way from one person to another to find the real people that deserve to die for the death of her boyfriend that starts the movie.

Once Charlize is on the job to retrieve the list, nothing is off limits here. Even James MacAvoy get's to be a badass British agent in Berlin. It's a goofy turn but so is everything about this film. Everyone drinks way too much, hits each other too many times and exchange body fluids without care for proper medical testing.

I loved the soundtrack of great eighties songs with some of my favorites like 99 Luftballoons, Father Figure, Der Commisar, Voices Carry, Personal Jesus and many other classics from the time.

I also loved the whole dull color pallet that infects every scene. It's all so grey. So very Cold War. Every building or car or person looks harsh and unfriendly and therefore deserve to be beaten half to death. Everyone is crass, unlikable and speaks almost too deliberately to rise above anything other than a caricature. Their conversations are unrealistic and have no place in anything other than a graphic novel which coincidentally this story is based on. I also saw the various plot twists coming from down the block. Subtle this film is not.

Now Charlize is psycho-biscuits. Who bathes in ice cold water? Water with ice cubes in it? And she drinks Vodka like it's water and has one expression. She speaks at the same tone and volume throughout the film. It's annoying and distracting but maybe I am focusing too much on her acting choices and not the sheer abuse that she puts herself through just to make the fight scenes look realistic and they do look realistic. Again, nothing is solved just by one punch when fifteen will do. Some of the fights go on a bit long but there is smoking and drinking to break up the chaos but not until a half hour into the movie. Then everything goes nuts. She never misses, never is defeated. Every punch she throws hits the mark. Every pot she throws hits the guy she throws it at from across the room. It feels choreographed and not organic and even that distracted me. And then she walks away but not until beating up two more guys. Charlize sells every punch and kick and groin slap and she is in fantastic shape. But her character feels off. The movie wants to be something it isn't but is interesting none the less. It's a very weird piece of cinema that I loved and hated all at the same time.

There aren't as many fight scenes at the trailer would leave you to believe. That is a good thing because the ones it does have are brutal. I hated seeing that pretty face get all beaten up. I know it's only the movies but still. The fight scenes and gun battles can be freaking brutal but funny at the same time. Many people in this film take more punishment than a Looney Tunes character but still keep coming back for more.

The film is all style over substance but deliberately so. I suspect they filmed the movie then refilmed the movie and pulled back and took all the emotion out of it. Even a lesbian scene feels tacked on. YES, a lesbian scene is boring and devoid of passion. I never thought I would type those words and it hurts me to do so.


dan muray said...

I saw it described as a two hour cigarette commercial---I still enjoyed it and the music...dan

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

The music was sweet and the fights were brutal but the twists didn't work and it was cold...and cold blooded but not exciting like it should have been. I did enjoy the very end. Thank you John Goodman.