Forget a serious plot – there’s good guys and gals and bad guys and gals but most importantly ATOMIC BLONDE has Charlize Theron kicking some serious butt. Kernel Blake reviews this one because I got stuck at work and am sad about that. But I can at least watch it this Thursday 3rd August when it releases in Australia from Universal Pictures. ATOMIC BLONDE will be rated MA15+ and runs for 115mins. Enhot Blake’s thoughts…….all the best……Salty.


2017 has been a big year for butt kicking, strong female leads in film. WONDER WOMAN is going gangbusters around the world and now ATOMIC BLONDE is here to continue that trend. Directed by David Leitch, co-director of JOHN WICK and director of the upcoming DEADPOOL 2, the trailers for ATOMIC BLONDE promised action aplenty, with star Charlize Theron as the titular ass-kicker.


Atomic Blonde Charlize Theron image
Charlize Theron



Set in late ‘80s Berlin, at the end of the Cold War, ATOMIC BLONDE introduces us to Lorraine Broughton (Theron, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD) a battered and bruised spy, lying in a bathtub full of ice. Being interrogated by her superiors from MI6 and the CIA, the story of ATOMIC BLONDE is told in flashback, as Broughton is sent to Russian occupied East Berlin to recover stolen documents identifying spies from both sides of the war.

ATOMIC BLONDE though, based on graphic novels by Antony Johnston and Sam Hart, is less concerned about the fall of the Berlin Wall and the politics surrounding the event, than it is about the shady dealing going on behind the scenes between spies from Russia, the UK and Germany. Lorraine must team up with MI6 agent on the ground, David Percival (James McEvoy, SPLIT), to recover the stolen file before the KGB gets hold of it and extends the Cold War for another forty years.

Percival, however, has his own plans for the list, as he’s quite comfortable playing both sides and becoming an underground smuggler, shipping people and luxury goods from East to West Berlin. Our ATOMIC BLONDE, Lorraine (just check out her hair) is thrown in the deep end, with Russian spies trying to take her out the moment she sets foot in Berlin, as well as interference from Percival and some rampant sexy times with ambitious French spy, Delphine (Sofia Boutella, THE MUMMY).


Atomic Blonde James McEvoy image
James McEvoy



With the spy list seemingly lost and all sides tearing the city apart, amidst the riots and crumbling Berlin Wall, the German Stasi agent that created the list in the first place becomes the target, as he has memorised the entire list. From here ATOMIC BLONDE becomes the story of a rescue mission as Broughton and Percival try to get the agent, codenamed Spyglass (Eddie Marsan, SHERLOCK HOLMES), across to the West and protection from their government.

Needless to say, things go awry. As with most spy films, there are crosses, double crosses, bluffs and double bluffs, with a few red herrings thrown in for good measure. As you may have noticed, considering the action-packed marketing of the film, I haven’t mentioned the action sequences in ATOMIC BLODNE. That’s because, unfortunately, most of them are showcased in the trailers and there just weren’t as many as I was expecting.

When they do arrive however, hot damn, are they good. Leitch, a former stuntman, brings the brutality that JOHN WICK was renowned for to ATOMIC BLONDE. Charlize goes full on Fast & Furiosa in these scenes, putting herself front and centre to deliver, and take, many incredible beatings.


Atomic Blonde Charlize Theron Ass Kicking image
Charlize Theron Ass Kicking



One sequence sees Theron protecting Agent Spyglass from Russian spies in a stairwell. Shot in one take over seven or so minutes, the choreography and realism of this fight scene is absolutely incredible and up there with some of the all-time greats, such as THE RAID and JOHN WICK. It’s refreshing to see a film where people kick seven shades of shit out of each other and are completely knackered by the end of it.

ATOMIC BLONDE also has one of the greatest soundtracks to a movie, with a list of hits from the 80s that perfectly reflect the action on screen and the events unfolding in the world around them. Although, even though he is mentioned, I was disappointed there was no Hasselhoff belting out his Berlin Wall anthem…


Atomic Blonde Charlize Theron and Sofia Boutella image
Charlize Theron and Sofia Boutella



Charlize Theron completely owns this film, bringing a cold brutality to the role, as well as raw sexuality when the time calls for it. After the truly godawful FATE OF THE FURIOUS, it’s good to see Theron back in a more Furiosa type role as a genuine badass. McAvoy, as always, is a standout as the shady Percival, bringing plenty of laughs to his role and acting as a good foil for Theron’s special agent.

Small roles to Toby Jones and John Goodman as Broughton’s MI6 and CIA superiors are solid and Boutella uses her minimal screen time to bring the sensual, flirty Delphine to life and provide one of ATOMIC BLONDE’S more eye-popping scenes.

While there is nothing really new here story wise, it’s basically the same plot as MISSION IMPOSSIBLE and countless other spy films. ATOMIC BLONDE rises above being just average by the excellent action sequences and some inventive filming techniques from Leitch, that bode well for DEADPOOL 2. It’s just a shame the film isn’t a bit tighter with the editing, as there’s a stretch in the middle of the film that grinds to a halt and seems to drag on for far too long, before cranking right up towards the end.


Atomic Blonde James McEvoy image
James McEvoy



ATOMIC BLONDE is a solid spy action film with a few twists and turns that you may not see coming, but plenty that you will. It’s worth it for the performances of Theron and McAvoy, as well as the incredibly shot fights that will give you some ideas on where to keep a set of keys if you keep losing them.





Kernel Blake is a part-time beard bandit, philanthropist, industrialist….bicyclist…photographer, world traveller, movie lover, a man of few words who enjoys the finer things in life. Like reciting Snake Plissken quotes. And when all that fails, heads out to a racetrack to do skids. He can be found twatting @bcurrall80 and hipstergramming @bcurrall80

** All images courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor/publisher – credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.


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