The 80’s was a time in which the synth was king. It was a time of significant changes, and rebellion during the Cold War era. Atomic Blonde takes the pop culture and the politics to make something whole, though sometimes the two just don’t meet eye to eye, no matter how hard you try to force it down with the vodka.
It’s been compared to John Wick, the female version, but it has more in common with your typical spy thriller. The Atomic Blonde in question, played cool by Charlize Theron, has been sent to retrieve a list that could cause a number of problems for spies throughout the world, revealing secrets worth a lot during the prickly Cold War situation. She teams up with the completely untrustworthy Berlin station chief (James McAvoy), and so a series of sneaking about, seduction, double cross crosses and even more double-crossing is the order of the day.
It’s not doing anything particularly interesting, but the cool neon lighting and 80’s pop rock soundtrack add a little flavour, even if the pumping synths rarely add to the scene. It’s being cool to the point in which the cool rebounds off a wall and stops being so. Throw in some serious male gaze gay sex scenes, and you have something misfiring in every department. Well, almost every department.
Amidst the spy nonsense and women in lingerie, the film has some incredibly crunchy action,the sort that makes you wince, cheer and forget to blink. Brief applause.