It’s nearly the end of the Cold War and the Berlin Wall is days away from coming down, but MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton has one more mission – to recover a sensitive list of operatives that will soon fall into the hands of the KGB. Her cover is blown as soon as she arrives and must engage in a dangerous game of cat and mouse while trying to recover the list and the man who has committed it to memory. Working with fellow agent David Percival, she pursues the package while staying one step ahead of the enemy. In the end, she must battle against impossible odds to reach her goal and expose the traitors in her midst.
2017, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 55 mins
DTS:X / HD Master Audio 5.1, 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, John Goodman
Directed by David Leitch
This is a well-balanced spy flick, but if you’re expecting the glamor of 007 or the pure action of XXX, you might be disappointed. Atomic Blonde is a more gritty, dark-alley look at the spy game set in 1989’s East Berlin, a city described by those in the game as “the Wild West.” While there is plenty of action, courtesy of many well-choreographed fight scenes, there is also plenty of intrigue, quick plot twists, and misdirection. The violence and sex quotient keeps this from being a family movie-night selection but none of the adult material is over-the-top.
Charlize Theron turns in a killer performance and I hope to see more films featuring her character. There is definite franchise potential here. James McAvoy is equally compelling as the rogue agent who runs along the ragged edge of insanity. The portrayal of Communist-controlled East Berlin is done to perfection. I found myself immersed in the story right from the word go. Awesome and entertaining, and surely worthy of multiple viewings, highly recommended.
Though much of the movie takes place in dimly-lit rooms and dark alleys, I never had trouble discerning fine detail or high contrast. Whether it be in shadow or highlight, you’ll see it all. Color is often monochromatic but the creators manage to use a variety of bold primary hues which always maintain a great sense of depth and dimension. For a film that relies on practical effects, this transfer is of reference quality.
The disc includes a DTS:X encode but I watched it in traditional 5.1. The mix is a tad polite but the intensity is there when the action calls for it. Surrounds are a bit under-utilized but my sub got a decent workout. Dialog is clear and balanced at all times.
Bonus features total about 35 minutes and include several short behind-the-scenes features and deleted scenes. You also get audio commentary from Director David Leitch and Editor Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir who provide insight into the production.