Atomic Blonde
Atomic Blonde

Atomic Blonde (2017)

‘This is not a feminist film’

By Rhianna Bibby
Thu 15 August, 2019


Atomic Blonde was a refreshing take on a modern action film, like no other. Though the lead character Lorraine Broughton (Charlie Theron), is a female, this is not a feminist film. This is an action film with a theme of culture and politics. The film is set in 1989 Berlin, with the rising issue of police brutality to youths, Communism/Capitalism, and the cold war, it very nicely adds a layer of depth into the narrative which is rarely seen in action films. In fact, the films setting complimented it beautifully allowing for no easy escape out of tension through unbelievable modern technology that would have lacked authenticity. Instead of perfected facial mask disguises, or transforming weapons, Broughton and Percival (James Mcavoy) are armed with the simpleslest of gear: guns, knives and wires, which makes for a satisfying ending and original creativity from director Leitch and the writers. It often means that the protagonist doesn’t seem as heroic at times and has to work harder for our euphoria and satisfaction. The action is therefore good old fashioned violence, and the equipment is classic such as watches with secret codes in, but no cringey narrative turns or technology – totally refreshing. The acting in the film is also excellent from Charlie Theron and James Mcavoy, who captured his villainous status perfectly in a shocking final scene, and before this channels a cocky, carefree character annoyingly pleasant to watch for the audience. Theron successfully adds an element of dark humour to the film as she tells her story, and as Broughton is in a position of power amongst any other characters it is empowering for a female viewer to see. In addition, the soundtrack of the film is genuine to its setting, and made for increased enjoyment as it engrossed us in the tension and excitement even further.

Rhianna Bibby