Claudio Says Pass On ATOMIC BLONDE And See Baby Driver Again.

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FILM REVIEW: ATOMIC BLONDE

BY CLAUDIO ZELAYA

Seriously, what serious musician would even consider playing “I ran”? I hope fans of certain movies from 2016 understand that reference. All kidding aside, the title of this review is my way of saying that I was promised a much better movie than the one I was shown. “Atomic Blonde” stars Charlize Theron as MI6’s Lorraine Broughton who is sent into Berlin to break up a spy ring that left an undercover agent dead. She’s forced to team up with James McAvoy’s David Percival, who is the top agent working in Berlin for the British. Like this movie, their relationship is uneasy as it adds tension to the already present twist and turns the story tries to throw at us. “Atomic Blonde” has been dubbed the female John Wick, but does this movie resemble the quality of the first John Wick or the second? Spoiler; it resembles the second “John Wick.”

Let’s start things on a positive foot. This is directed by one of the directors of the original “John Wick”, David Leitch, who is also set to helm the sequel to “Deadpool.” The action is an aspect that we’re almost guaranteed to love because of his background. There’s a certain scene in a stair case that definitely reminded me of the bit they did in season two of “Daredevil.” It encapsulates everything great about this movie. Lorraine isn’t invincible and the choreography really makes her feel real. When she’s huffing from exhaustion after getting her head clocked, we also feel tired in the audience. “Atomic Blonde” has short bursts of more action sprinkled throughout the movie that takes one’s mind off the lacking story.

The reason I didn’t like “John Wick: Chapter Two” was because the plot tried to be too smart and ended up being convoluted as all hell. The same is, unfortunately, true for “Atomic Blonde.” A creative choice was made to have this story told to us by Charlize herself while she’s de-briefing her higher ups so that set up the movie for a ton of exposition. It also became jarring when they would switch from the actual story to her telling the story because we know she ends up fine. That decision itself aside, the editing in the first hour seemed choppy. From that point, the story tries too hard to be as mysterious as it’s title character. I get trying to do something different, but it became too confusing that by the point the movie ended, I didn’t understand anyone’s motivation at all despite the great performances.

Charlize does an incredible job Lorraine. I have no doubt in my mind I’d get my ass kicked up and down the Berlin Wall if I caught her on a bad night. James McAvoy also plays a really conniving and uncomfortable foil to Lorraine. The only problem is that I don’t care about either of them. I can’t tell you a single thing about these characters besides how much butt they kick. They also introduce this weird side plot with Sophia Boutella’s character that didn’t feel organic at all. I promise I paid attention, but I can’t come up with any good reason for her character to even be there.

Probably the worst sin of this entire film is that the music felt very “Suicide Squad”-esque. Meaning certain songs played because, “hey, remember this song from the eighties?” When we’re blessed with movies like Baby Driver and Guardians that incorporate their music so organically, “Atomic Blonde” falls in a mediocre level for its soundtrack usage. That’s what I would label this movie as a whole; it’s mediocre. In trying to be so different, it ended up being a convoluted plot with no characters for me to care about. It’s not the worst movie, but I can’t recommend seeing it in theaters. Wait until it’s on cable and watch Baby Driver again, folks. I don’t even remember if they played “Killer Queen”, which might be the worst sin of all.

 

FINAL WORD: