Atomic Blonde feels like watching a combination of Drive and the Bourne series: It’s thrilling, action-packed, incredibly cool; pretty much everything you could want in a good espionage flick. That being said, this isn’t your typical spy movie – it’s way, way more bonecrushingly brutal.
Based on the Oni Press graphic novel series The Coldest City, Atomic Blonde takes place in Berlin during the end of the Cold War. The story follows an undercover MI6 agent named Lorraine Broughton, played by Charlize Theron, who is sent to Berlin to recover covert information regarding undercover agents and investigate the murder of a fellow operative. Upon her arrival, she meets fellow British operative David Percival, played by James McAvoy, and French spy Delphine Lasalle, played by Sofia Boutella. It becomes clear very quickly that things are not what they appear and Broughton must be careful with who she trusts, or she’ll never make it out of Berlin alive.
While Atomic Blonde isn’t without flaws, Theron’s performance helps make you forget all about them. She brings such a cool intensity to the role and her ability to connect with the character and in turn, the audience, is what makes this performance so excellent. Although, she isn’t alone. McAvoy, Boutella and John Goodman, who plays a chief CIA officer, are all in top form. I mean, we all know Goodman is an incredible actor, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that he’s great. And McAvoy, well, he just never seems to disappoint, does he? He sells the hell out of his drunk British operative character who doesn’t play well with others. That being said, it’s arguably Boutella who impresses the most (outside of Theron, that is). While Boutella hasn’t made as many films as the others, when one considers her memorable performances in The Mummy and the Kingsman: The Secret Service, coupled with this film, I would say we’re going to be seeing a lot more of her in the coming years.