Charlize Theron boldly portrays Lorraine Broughton, a top-level spy for MI6, in an action-thriller that takes place in Berlin, on the eve of the Wall’s collapse in 1989. Her distinctive look—white-blonde hair, sleek outfits, fishnets, thigh-high boots, stilettos—and the ‘80s Europop soundtrack (99 Luftballoons, David Bowie, Der Kommissar) bring back memories of that eventful period in recent history.
From start to finish, the action never lets up as spies descend upon Berlin, determined to find an elusive list that could jeopardize the West’s entire intelligence operation. With all the single, double, and triple crosses, it is sometimes difficult to pinpoint the actual villain. And the dialogue is limited. But one constant prevails as Theron aims her gun, crunches bones, and punches faces: she is relentless and will not fail…a female James Bond.
While Theron dominates the film, the supporting cast of James McAvoy (Berlin station chief), John Goodman (CIA executive), and Sofia Boutella (French operative) add elements of intrigue and humor.
If you like action movies with brazen female protagonists and show-stopping fight scenes, you will enjoy Atomic Blonde.