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Atomic Blonde - A Ms. H Movie Review

Written by RealMsH

Disclaimer:  The views expressed here are mine alone and do not represent those of


Before I begin, I would like to caution you hat Atomic Blonde is a rated R movie with scenes in the movie that ties in with this rating.  You must be 17 years or older to watch this movie. To continue,  I was eagerly anticipating the Atomic Blonde movie, mainly because this action movie has a female lead who has been doing an outstanding job of late in other movies -- Charlize Theron. Find out how I rated this movie and whether or not you should watch it or just ignore Atomic Blonde completely.

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Main Character in Atomic Blonde

Before seeing Atomic Blonde, I did a cursory check on the character because she was new to me.  During my research, I found out there is actually a comic book or graphic novel that features a character by the title of Atomic Blonde.  I didn’t thoroughly check into the background of this character, so as not to spoil it for me when I saw Atomic Blonde in the movies. So it looks like the writer and director had existing material to draw from in establishing the Atomic Blonde character.

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True to form, the main character plays a blonde who seemed to be self-sufficient and do not mind showing villains just how self-sufficent she can be.  I watched this movie from a positive perspective; however, after awhile, I could not ignore some of the unfavorable connotations that will be explained further below. To be fair, I will list favorable connotations as well. Let’s start with the positives.

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Positive Connotations of Atomic Blonde

No one can deny the fact that Charlize Theron was the main protagonist in Atomic Blonde.  There were lots of bad guys she had to contend with -- but she held her own as the star of the movie.  In other words, she did not stay in the background in any of the scenes. In all the action scenes, she looked fairly capable of not only defending herself against the enemies, but protecting some other people as well.  In this movie, she seemed highly dedicated to her job as a spy and was diligent in carrying through any instructions, etc. that were given to her.

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Some of the action scenes were spectacular in execution.  For example the scene where she ties a rope to anchor herself, before hurling out of a window high on top of the building was worthy of a page in the stunt man’s or woman’s instruction book.  Finally, Charlize Theron showed quite a bit of confidence in doing her job. She was not only competent, but she was dedicated to get the job done -- whatever the cost.  She seemed to have a strong work ethic when it came to executing her job. xlarge2

Negative Connotations of Atomic Blonde

As I was watching this movie, I got the impression that I could just as well be watching a man perform actions in this movie instead of a woman.  For example, beginning with using her high heel to beat the villain to protecting the timid man during one of the scenes --  All you had to do was replace her high heel with a sturdy weapon of some sort and replace the timid man with a woman -- and you would have Atomic Man vice Atomic Blonde.  

Even though the setting was in the 1980’s, there was no need in my opinion to show her lighting up a cigarette at every turn.  Of course these could be props, but the idea of her smoking in a lot of the scenes was a turnoff for me.  Additionally, after a while the movie took on a repetitive stance with her meeting enemies, punching them out and doing various acrobatic moves to do so.

Plot of Atomic Blonde

The storyline of Atomic Blonde was told as a flashback with her talking about actions that preceded her being found in her present situation with a bloody face. I thought this was a creative way of telling the story; however, I got vibes of the movie The Usual Suspects where the main character is recounting events that happened -- that never did.  The difference in this case was the actions did take place.  

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Twists and Turns in Atomic Blonde

To me, it looked like the director wanted to take everybody on a roller coaster ride toward the end where in the space of a few minutes people’s identities started to change.  For example, when it looked like Charlize Theron had accomplished her mission of retrieving the watch that housed valuable intel, the movie continues on with an unexpected ending.  The problem with this is everything seemed to be rushed towards, like the director realized there needed to be an ending to this movie. 

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Assessment of Atomic Blonde

I think the Atomic Blonde movie set out to do what it wanted to do -- offer an action movie with a strong female lead. However, movies starring a strong female lead do not have to go over the deep end and have her acting overly masculine.  There is a slim boundary of having an action movie starring a female star and having a movie that all you have to do to change actions designed for a male --  to be played by a female. Somewhere there is a compromise, which I do not think was accomplished in this movie. I want to give kudos to the writer and director for offering up this move starring Charlize Theron, but would like to share with them that some of the action scenes were ok -- while others were a little over the top. 

Rating of Atomic Blonde

Based on a rating of 1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars being the best, I rate Atomic Blonde 2 stars.

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