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By Brent Davidson
1st August 2017

Aren’t we going through a real 80s renaissance at the moment?! Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore it – mostly because it was all of the things I was raised on, not because I have particular memories of any given events. Let's be honest, I was really only in the decade for three days. Still, it’s definitely the music and culture I was brought up on, and I for one welcome this resurgence! I just want people to use more Duran Duran in their soundtracks.

Set in the final days of the Cold War, 'Atomic Blonde' is a classic spy caper. Double agents, a list of spies on the verge of leaking, tensions between East Berlin and West Berlin and a whole lot of action take you on a gripping ride.


Charlize Theron leads a stellar cast in this action comedy spy romp. I use the word romp because it doesn’t feel like there is anything the film is really trying to say, but at the same time is extremely enjoyable, rather witty and visually stunning. Joined by James McEvoy and John Goodman, the acting work is hard to fault, the action is fast-paced and believable, and the line between truth and lies is finely tread and masterfully disguised.

Is it just me, or is 80s visual style defined by pink and blue neon? Like that episode of 'Black Mirror' and even the 'Thor: Ragnarok' trailer. It’s low-tech 'Tron' and I love it. More power-clashing of pink and blue! Being based on a graphic novel series, it's no wonder that the film is so stylised and stylistically on point. The use of the 80s soundtrack was also wonderful; I know it is something we have been seeing a lot of lately (think 'Black Mirror' and 'The Handmaids Tale') but what I really liked about the use of music in ‘Atomic Blonde’ was the transition in and out of diegetic sound. It grounded the ridiculous reality but also added to the dramatic pace of the overall product.

Charlize Theron leads a stellar cast in this action comedy spy romp.

Let’s be honest – you play ‘99 Luftbaloons’ and I will be happy regardless of the situation.

While ‘Atomic Blonde’ really had me following along for the most part, I feel like it was let down somewhat by its ending. Not that the conclusion was bad, but just that it had the potential to be so much more. Like a three-minute song where the last 45 seconds are just the chorus repeated, it needs to go somewhere and remind us all of why we were interested in the first place.

'Atomic Blonde’ is slick, fun and gripping spy movie that will have you going along for the ride. Superbly acted, with a wonderful accompanying soundtrack, you’ll find yourself wishing you had been around in the 80s for more than just three days... or maybe that’s just me.

RELEASE DATE: 03/08/2017
RUN TIME: 1h 55m
CAST: Charlize Theron
James McAvoy
John Goodman
Til Schweiger
Eddie Marsan
Sofia Boutella
Toby Jones
Bill Skarsgård
James Faulkner
Roland Møller
DIRECTOR: David Leitch
WRITER: Kurt Johnstad
PRODUCERS: Charlize Theron
A.j. Dix
Eric Gitter
Kelly McCormick
Beth Kono
Peter Schwerin
Want more? Listen to our discussion of 'Atomic Blonde' on SWITCHCast 
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