“Atomic Blonde” is a film adaptation of an Antony Johnston comic that you never read. It’s OK. Not a ton of casual readers pick up Oni Press books. I’m not sure if the comic to film adaptation made the espionage plot trickier, but it’s still pretty muddy. Beginning in 1989, a spy’s death near Berlin causes some internal ruckus. 10 years later, Agent Charlize Theron is brought in to hunt down a list of every agent’s ID that was lost during the 1989 murder. Why wait a decade? Well, this movie doesn’t want you asking questions just yet. Now, it’s time for Agent Charlize and MI-6 Agent Professor X to start kicking ass in mainland Europe.

The duo quickly uncovers the location of the code name/ID list, but the bad guys have memorized it! Curse those tricky spies and their excellent abilities to memorize names! While Professor X is doing all of the investigative leg work, Agent Charlize Theron is getting into car fights in West Berlin. Agent New Mummy turns out to be a French double agent of sorts. She’s kinda sexy and does more to make your parents give up and stop following the plot. But, wait is Professor X doing bad guy stuff?

If you’re lost now, then you’ve got a good feeling of how the film plays. Most of the early reviews dodge all of the spycraft and dead-ending plot lines in favor of talking about Theron’s bad ass fight scenes. The stuff with the second car chase and the sniper sequence is rather amazing. It’s just that you’ve got to put up with a ton of half-assed Le Carre styled plot devices to make it to those moments. That being said, learn to decode Film Twitter’s rants by analyzing the moments they purposefully leave out their coverage.

The film’s ending feels forced, but it allows Theron to come across a new age badass heroine. Well, kinda. It only works if you’re willing to accept that nothing in the previous hour and fifty minutes mattered. So, when you’re at the Multiplex deciding between this film and the Emoji movie…go see Spider-Man again.


  • 1 hr and 55 mins
  • R
  • Focus Features


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