Atomic Blonde (2017) Review

If James Bond, Jason Borne, and John Wick had a child together, and the child turned out to be a girl, her name would be Lorraine Broughton. Starring Charlize Theron and James McAvoy, this 80’s spy thriller takes you on a fun but confusing ride to ultimately discover the identity of a secret double agent hidden in MI6. Overall I enjoyed the film, but it could have been better.

Rating: 6.8/10

Important Cast:

Charlize Theron = Lorraine Broughton

James McAvoy = David Percival

Eddie Marsan = Spyglass

Sam Hargrave = James Gasciogne

The setting takes place towards the end of the Cold War, and we start with an MI6 agent (James Gasciogne) being hunted down and killed by the KGB in East Berlin. James’s identity was compromised at the hands of an unknown double agent, code-named Satchel. James was in possession of a list that contains all the secret identities of MI6 agents, including the double agent, Satchel. Lorraine is tasked by MI6 to recover this list in East Berlin, so that they can discover the identity of the double agent working for the KGB (Satchel).



This movie felt like it was two movies put together. The first hour is a slow build with little action, short dialog, a lot of smoking, 80’s music, and spy detective work. The other half of the movie starts with the one scene that people will be talking about for a long time. This action sequence seems like one continuous take and you are left wondering how they even filmed it. Lorraine finds herself fighting four or five KGB agents down stairs and through hallways and rooms. This scene is absolutely phenomenal and perfect in every way.

Lorraine is highly skilled and trained, however she isn’t invincible. We see her really take a beating and she barely comes out of these action sequences alive. I was truly amazed and impressed with the physicality of Lorraine and I think this is a tremendous step forward for women action heroes in Hollywood.

2. James McAvoy

McAvoy isn’t unfamiliar with playing slimy characters and David Percival is a mucky man. David is an undercover MI6 agent living in East Berlin and he has fully emersered himself in the culture. He is an alcoholic, chain smoker, womanizer, punk who gives off the vibe that he just doesn’t give a crap about Queen or Country.

Throughout the movie David’s actions are very suspicious and questionable. It’s not until the very end when you see where his true loyalty lies. McAvoy brought so much charisma and likability to the screen even when the audience wasn’t rooting for him.


  1. Complicated Storytelling

Atomic Blonde is narrated by Lorraine 10 days after to the initial murder of James. Lorraine is in an interrogation room at MI6 headquarters debriefing her mission. Throughout the film we bounce back and forth from the interrogation room and the mission and we are forced to embrace this choppy narrative. The plot could have been more carefully constructed, especially the final act. Who really is Satchel? You tell me, because it just isn’t clear.


I enjoyed the film, but I would not recommend seeing it in theaters. This is a good movie to redbox or stream for a small price. However, this film is a huge victory for female action stars in Hollywood. I give this a 6.8/10.


Categories: Action, Mystery, ThrillerTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Alex Torres

Civil Engineer by critic by night. I am a 24 year old graduate from PSU with a passion and love for film. I currently reside in Washington D.C.

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