Sunday, July 30, 2017

Atomic Blonde

Atomic Blonde is an extremely good action film. It has a solid plot, good writing, better acting, stunning cinematography and action sequences, and it absolutely nails the period.

It is set in Berlin at the tail end of the Cold War, and is in many ways a standard spy-action film. We've seen similar things out of Bond and Bourne, among others. Atomic Blonde has a real style to it, though, both in its visual aesthetic and its effective use of music, that sets it apart.

This is very much an R-rated movie. It has nudity, it has language, and it has lots and lots of violence. Some of the fight scenes are breathtakingly brutal. The movie does also have talking, so don't expect wall-to-wall action, but it has enough action to support the plot and vice versa.

Oh, and it also passes both Bechdel and Mako Mori.

The cinematography on this movie is good enough that I looked up the directory of photography. His name is Jonathan Sela, and his credits mostly include music videos (Wrecking Ball, for instance). His feature film credits are limited, but do include John Wick, which is presumably where he met David Leitch, the director of Atomic Blonde. Leitch has worked as a stuntman and stunt coordinator for a couple decades, which explains rather a lot. Both of them deserve lots of credit for getting this film right, and I'm pleased to note that they are working together again on Deadpool 2.

Bottom line: if you like action movies, and none of the above specifically turned you off, go see Atomic Blonde.

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