+ high-res version

Watched: 28 January

Atomic Blonde is worthy of note for being an espionage action film that features a woman (in this case Charlize Theron) in the lead role, which is still a relatively rare event within this particular genre. And Theron gives a pretty kickass performance, carrying out much of the cartoonish, John Wick-style asskicking in thigh-high boots, stockings and the like, which is perhaps a costume choice that has been employed to draw in a portion of the straight, male audience that might otherwise have bailed (I like Charlize Theron very much and there’s no doubt she looks amazing here, but I think we’ll be getting somewhere equality-wise when an actress who is the same age as Liam Neeson gets to play a part like this in the same dowdy clothes that Liam Neeson gets to wear). Anyway, the film is very much a classic case of style over substance, the late 80s, eve-of-the-fall-of-the-Berlin-Wall setting seeing the director opt for lotsa neon and lotsa really obvious musical choices (London Calling, 99 Luftballons, Under Pressure etc etc), but there isn’t much of a plot aside from the usual double-crossing and the supporting cast of characters – which features James McAvoy, Sofia Boutella, John Goodman and Toby Jones – are all poorly-written and straight out of the big book of stock spy movie bods. I was bored for quite a lot of it. (**)