A place to discuss all things nerdy. So far mainly movie reviews, but looking to expand further into geek culture and media. The Late Nite Scholar is a born geek who married a geek and raises geek offspring, and specializes in movies, gaming, comics, books, and history. So come in and enjoy, leave your thoughts and let us know how you feel about the posts, the items we discuss, or anything else you want to talk about within our beloved genre.
Wednesday, 2 August 2017
Atomic Blonde Spoiler Free Review
Look at me, back again with more movie reviews! There’s
always a busy time of the year when it seems like there’s a new movie we want
to see every week, and it seems like this is that time. Today we’re going to
talk about another one that I was really excited for: Atomic Blonde,
which is based on the graphic novel The Coldest City. No spoilers ahead,
so let’s jump right in.
I’d like to start by saying how much I am loving all
the kickass ladies we’ve been getting this year. As someone who likes movies in
the comic book and action genres (among others), it’s great to see some awesome
female characters. Real characters, not a sexy sidekick/sidechick/damsel
in distress. Laura/X-23 and Diana/Wonder Woman have been two of the biggest
ones so far, and now we have Lorraine Broughton. We need to keep making this happen,
Anyway, on to the movie. Atomic Blonde is directed by
David Leitch, co-director of the first John Wick film, director of the
upcoming Deadpool 2, and a veteran of stunt work and stunt coordinating.
So that sounds pretty cool on paper, right? Well, it’s also pretty frickin’
cool on screen too. I had so much fun with this movie and there’s a lot I want
to talk about.
Okay, I’m going to talk about the soundtrack first, given
that it’s the thing mentioned most often in my notes. The story is set in the
days leading up to the fall of the Berlin Wall, so the music is all
appropriately, gloriously, egregiously 80’s dance/pop. I loved it so
much. I mean, it also served to set up the time period and the locations really
well, too. I’m not going to sell it short in that regard. The soundtrack is
fantastic, there’s not much else to say.
Also fantastic is the cast. Charlize Theron is ferocious in
this movie as Broughton, a veteran MI6 agent. She’s amazing to watch, whether
she’s taking down a whole crew of baddies in a stairwell, or talking to her
superiors back in London. No one else in the cast is slouching, either. James
McAvoy is another fascinating watch in this, as are Sofia Boutella, John
Goodman, Toby Jones, and Bill Skarsgard (who we’ll see later on this year as
Pennywise the Clown), among others.
I kept wondering why he looked so familiar
In a film like this, the big question is the action, which
is warranted given how central it is to the genre. For how slick the film
looks, the fights are dragged-out and dirty in comparison. It’s not pretty
fighting, stylish yes, but no fancy flips or kicks or outlandish stuff. John Wick was 95% headshots, Atomic
Blonde is mainly hand-to-hand,
often using whatever is available as a weapon. It’s not overly gory or graphic
(there’s only one instance I can think of where someone’s brain matter
repainted a wall), but it doesn’t skimp either. And even better, there’s no
tropey wounds either. Lorraine doesn’t end up with the fashionable cheek cut,
or any of that crap. In one particularly nasty fight, both her and her opponent
are legitimately bruised, bloody, and exhausted by the end. When do you see
that? People actually getting realistically tired and hurt in a fight? Not
something like this.
In conclusion, go see Atomic Blonde. Think of it as a
James Bond story with a John Wick look. It has a fascinating setting, a story I’m
purposely not talking about to avoid spoiling all the twists and turns, and a
great cast. Its super fun and I definitely recommend it.
PS: the reviews don’t stop here. We are T-minus 2 days until
The Dark Tower. So, for good or ill, expect a review for that sometime
not long after!