Friday, August 4, 2017

Movies: Atomic Blonde

(Drivebycuriosity) -  There is a tradition of spy movies, including the James Bond films, "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold" (based on John le Carr√©), "The Ipcress File" and many more. "Atomic Blonde", now running in US cinema theaters, belongs to the best of the genre (imdb). Watching the mostly European production is a lot of fun.

The film is set in Berlin in 1989, when the Berlin Wall was crumbling, the last days of the Cold War. A female British agent (MI6) reports about her recent mission in Berlin which went messy (this is a spoiler free blog. You can read a synopsis here wikipedia).

The movie shows the evolution of the genre. "Atomic" is very cool. There is more violence, more sex, more style, more speed & more glamour. Director David Leitch quoted many other genre movies of course, but he found his own style. The frequent very rough but aesthetically choreographed fight scenes reminded me of Chan-wook Park`s masterpiece "Oldboy", but they were even more brutal & explosive. The glances on Berlin`s rapid & peaceful transformation gave the film a special quality.

I was fascinated by Charlize Theron. Often the camera focused on her face and let the audience participate in her suffering. Theron combined beauty with fierce violence. In some scenes she acted like Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction. The French actress Sofia Boutella correlated perfectly with Theron`s character. I also enjoyed performances by John Goodman, Eddie Marsan ,Toby Jones and many other strong actors.

Cinematographer Jonathan Sela translated the action into contemporary art. The sound track was an important part of the movie. The perfectly placed English & German pop pieces from the 80s (or covers of them) enhanced the pleasure considerably.

Go and watch it.

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