Move over James Bond, there’s a new spy in town and she’s a fierce blondie with a license to kill! Charlize Theron channels a bad-ass MI6 agent in her thrilling new film ‘Atomic Blonde,’ and she is a serious force to be reckoned with.
Atomic Blonde, in theaters on July 28, 2017, is a shocking, thrilling, twisted film that follows British spy Lorraine (Charlize Theron) whose mission begins in 1989 West Berlin, following the murder of a key MI6 agent and a list of Western intelligence assets goes missing and is possible in the hands of the KGB. In order to find the list and avenge the murder of the agent, who was also her former lover, Lorraine has to join forces with the former Berlin bureau chief, David Percival (James McAvoy), a chain-smoking, hot-headed agent who sells Jack Daniels and American-made denim on the black market to East Berliners in exchange for intelligence. While you’re never entirely sure where Percival’s loyalty lies, there is something wildly sexy about his character’s quick wit and mystery. While the two “work together” (I say that loosely because Lorraine’s character is constantly reminded to trust no one), the pair also separately search for a double agent in MI6, only known as Satchel, whose true identity is apparently on the missing list.
The film has some slow, plot-building moments that are necessary to tell the story, but after each plot hole is filled, it’s ass-kicking time. Charlize went through intense martial arts training to do her own stunts in Atomic Blonde and it definitely shows. In one of the first fight scenes of the film, Lorraine realizes she’s in a sticky situation after her ride from the airport turns out to be East Berliners and sneakily removes her high Louboutin heel and stabs one of the men in the leg while putting the driver in a chokehold. As the car speeds through tunnels, Lorraine single-handedly destroys both men, opening the door of the var to let one hang out of it and flipping the car after unbuckling the drivers seat belt. The fight sequence braces you for all of the incredible man-destroying moves that Charlize pulls out in Atomic Blonde.
The highlight of the film, though, is the heavily talked about fight scene in an East Berlin apartment, which was shot in a single take. With no music behind the epic scene besides the sound of grunting and fists making contact, Lorraine takes on a squad of KGB agents on four flights of stairs and inside a tiny apartment. Director David Leitch told Inverse Entertainment about the thrilling fight, “I’d presented it to my stunt team before, and everyone’s always kind of like cautious and hesitant, because [they asked] are you really going to be able to stay in it?” Leitch recalled. “Is it going to be compelling? Are you going to want to cut away for energy?” The long, brutal beating scene, Leitch confirmed, is all Charlize. “All the fighting, all the brutality in that fighting and the selling of fighting, it’s all her,” he said. It makes you love her even more.