Charlize Theron is the super-sexy, super-talented female spy that movie audiences have always wanted. In every scene in which she appears in “Atomic Blonde,” she dominates the action – whether she’s fighting off groups of bad guys with a dazzling array of action moves or slinking around in some impossibly sexy outfits. In short, Charlize Theron kicks ass in “Atomic Blonde.”
Charlize Theron’s character is James Bond meets John Wick
Some have tried to compare Charlize Theron’s character, MI6 Agent Lorraine Broughton, to a female James Bond. Yes, she’s employed by Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Yes, she’s impossibly cosmopolitan and suave. Yes, she’s trying to outwit a rival group of spies and double agents. And, yes, there are scenes where she’s downing shots of her favorite vodka drink (not shaken, and not stirred, by the way).
But the real inspiration for Charlize Theron’s character is really John Wick. And that’s not just a coincidence – David Leitch, the co-director of the first “John Wick” film, is also the director of this film. As a result, we get a character very much like John Wick – this is one badass woman you don’t want to mess with. She doesn’t need a gun to kill you, she’s just as adept as using the stiletto heel of one of her glamorous pairs of shoes. She’s perfectly willing to improvise, using a common garden hose as an unlikely form of strangulation. She’s able to stab someone with a set of car keys or shoot them straight up with unerring ease.
Charlize Theron is stunning in perfectly choreographed fight scenes
And where Charlize Theron really shines is in her fight scenes. Make no mistake about it – she’s perfectly willing and able to take on all comers. She’s in peak fighting shape, and employs a unique form of “lethal creativity” (according to one film reviewer) in devising new ways to take out her opponents. That’s what makes the action in this film so irresistible – every action fight scene is almost balletic in motion, with bodies moving to a perfectly choreographed beat.
And despite the frenetic pace of the action, Theron is always in control. Whether she’s careening through the streets of Cold War-era Berlin, where much of the action takes place, or fighting off Soviet assassin spies, you know that Theron is going to jump, kick, shoot and maim her way to victory. She’s always ready to kick ass, even if she’s just arrived in a foreign city and is trapped in traffic. “Trust no one,” she’s told. But there’s no real need to tell Charlize Theron that – she’s not the trusting type.
And what makes it all so badass is that Theron always looks better after fighting off her assailants. Even blood spatter in her hair looks more like funky pink highlights than any sign that she’s just been in a bloody battle. And the non-stop action is all synced to the pounding pulse of a 1980s soundtrack, in which songs from the likes of Depeche Mode and New Order help to highlight the action. At times, the movie feels like just one badass music video: Who really cares about the plot line and narrative, as long as our Atomic Blonde is out there, shooting up the place and killing all the bad buys?
“Atomic Blonde” perfects the cartoon-style violence of a graphic novel
In fact, sometimes Charlize Theron kicks so much ass on the big screen that it almost seems like the violence we’d expect from a superhero cartoon. And that’s no mistake – the movie sometimes attains a comic book aesthetic as a result of all the action. The movie is actually based on a graphic novel – “The Coldest City” – and so it’s no coincidence that some of the fights are so ultra-violent and ultra-bloody.
Charlize Theron is a stone-cold killer (literally) in “Atomic Blonde”
And what makes Theron so deadly is that she’s so cool, calm and collected throughout. She’s a stone-cold killer, feeling little or no remorse for all the bloody victims left in her wake. As if to emphasize that point, David Leitch films scenes with Charlize Theron, naked in an ice bath, as she sips an icy cocktail. She’s an icy blonde you don’t want to mess with. She may be dressed to the 9s in a slinky dress and impossibly high stiletto heels, but she’ll take out any baddies just as easily as if she were dressed in full military camo gear. She’s just that cold of a killer.
Charlize Theron exudes a type of savage sexiness
If you’re used to Charlize Theron film roles in which she deliberately disfigures herself (the role of Imperator Furiosa in “Mad Max: Fury Road” comes to mind), then you’re in for a real treat in “Atomic Blonde.” This female spy-assassin-killer is as savage as she is sexy. It’s a rare combination on the big screen.
And perhaps one of the sexiest scenes in the movie is one in which Charlize Theron describes her impossibly hot tryst with a French intel officer (played by Sofia Boutella of “The Mummy”). Her handlers at MI6 literally can’t believe what they’re hearing – and they don’t want her to stop. It’s just that hot and sexy.
This is one “Atomic Blonde” you don’t want to double-cross
The true mark of any badass is that you don’t ever want to cross him (or her). And Charlize Theron is very clear in this film that she’s not someone you want to double-cross or triple-cross. It can be sometimes hard to follow all the plot developments, but one thing is clear – Charlize Theron is more assassin than spy, and she’ll always get the person she wants.
No doubt, the summer of 2017 has been very good to us. We first got Gal Gadot in “Wonder Woman” as a female superhero who kicks ass. Now we have Charlize Theron as a female super-spy who kicks ass. If given our choice, we’d take Charlize Theron. There’s not a single one of her scenes in “Atomic Blonde” in which you can’t take your eyes off her. This film is so good it almost makes us long for the good old days of the Cold War, in which spies and super-spies played out an epic cat-and-mouse game in European capitals. Forget James Bond, though, we now have Charlize Theron as Agent Lorraine Broughton.