The Movie: 8.5/10
If you have read a lot of my reviews, or listened to our podcasts, you’ll know I’m not a fan of fight scenes, car chases, or gratuitous violence for the sake of it. I’m not opposed to violence in stories, it’s part of human life and it gives characters a catalyst for making choices, or it becomes their solution (however misguided it might be). Why then would I enjoy Atomic Blonde with all it’s well choreographed violent scenes? That’s easy, it’s done well and it lives just right in this tale of subterfuge and spies and the violent times around the fall of the Berlin wall. Most of all the fight scenes are riveting and I’m convinced the people in the story have to truly fight for their lives against relentless foes, so it makes sense that it’s intense and hardcore.
By hardcore I mean, come on, using a water hose, a lamp, a hot plate, gravity, and sheer tenacity of will to kick some ass is just the kind of spectacle that makes each scene that much more entertaining. No, I’m not the “yea kick the shit out of him” type. I don’t yell at the screen or anything lame like that, but I’m interested in how each fight will turn out. In Atomic Blonde it’s never quite clear who will win, which I appreciate even more. All this is down to two things, the performers doing the fight scenes (and that includes our Charlize Theron doing her own fight scenes) and the stunt people who designed each fight. It’s stimulating and I grimaced more than once at the pain I could imagine with certain hits and kicks.
The story might not be the most innovative spy tale I’ve ever seen on the big screen, but that’s fine with me as long as I’m interested in the characters. I was. The cast of players are all here, the incredibly driven spy who never gives up (our Atomic Blonde), the rogue spy (James McAvoy), the bosses (various people who don’t really matter), and almost innocent bystanders who get tangled up and damaged in the game of the cold war (A French spy, a German trader, and probably more).
The more I think about this movie the more I like it. Our blonde spy just has the kind of Humph that gets me interested in a character and their journey, their choices, and how things work out in the end. I would recommend this to just a few people. You have to be OK with violence, did I mention that? Yea, it’s not the Bride in Kill Bill with her sword killing a whole room of men in a bloody massacre kind of violence, but trim it down to Jason Bourne or The Transporter (with more heart, more grunting and using found objects) type of fights and you’ve got it.
- Deleted/Extended Scenes (7 Minutes) – Six deleted scenes for your viewing pleasure.
- Welcome To Berlin (4 Minutes) – A look at 1989 Berlin and it’s role in the movie.
- Blondes Have More Gun (7 Minutes) – Charlize Theron explains how she got onboard with the movie. Director and set locations are also discussed.
- Spymaster (4 Minutes) – A look at Director David Leitch and his action focuses directorial style.
- Anatomy Of A Fight Scene (8 Minutes) – A look at the one shot fight sequence from the middle of the film. A picture in picture feature shows the director and his reactions to the scenes.
- Story In Motion – Animated storyboards for two of the films best scenes.
- Audio Commentary With David Leitch And Elisabet Ronalddottir
- 4KHUD, Blu-ray & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
I like this cover. It tells me what I need to know, reminds me of the whole vibe of Atomic Blonde, which I really enjoyed, and it would be a nice addition to any wall in our movie room. Yes, that means I would have it as a poster:).
Audio & Video: 8/10
Atomic Blonde does the 80’s and it does them in style. Neon colors drench this 1080P transfer that really does blow you away. Blacks are strong and inky on both the 4K release and the Blu-ray and fine details are evident in both. The HDR lighting used in the 4K release makes that the best version to watch but the standard Blu-ray is also reference material.
The DTS: X Master Audio track is also very impressive. The movie almost always plays a 80’s song during the action and your speakers will come alive when it does. Dialog is prioritized centrally and gunshots come from every corner of the room. LFE is mostly reserved for the music here, but during the one take sequence the slamming of a stove top into a bad guys face rocks your room.
Overall Score 8/10