Atomic Blonde was everything I needed it to be: chic, rough and fun. Nothing terribly deep – and nor should one expect it to be. It was a plot we’ve all seen before, following a story similar to the first Mission: Impossible movie (1996) or even Skyfall (2012): the villain has a list of agents, and the hero (Charlize Theron) has to get that list before the agents are compromised or killed.
For a guy in the mood for a cool movie where a beautiful ice pick of a woman does really cool things while looking really cool – all done in gorgeous style and a plausibility that is reasonably anchored in reality – I was a happy customer. Think James Bond meets John Wick… as a woman. (In fact, stuntman-director David Leitch co-directed the first John Wick and is directing Deadpool 2.) And Charlize delivers.
Since the movie takes place in 1989 in the weeks leading up the fall of the Berlin Wall, the music that was tapped to give the story some pop culture texture was right out of my formative teenage years. The opening notes of nearly every music cue in the film made me giddy with very specific memories. Atomic Blonde’s soundtrack is a glorious nostalgia overload for any Generation Xer.