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Red Sparrow

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Red Sparrow

Spielberg. Streep. Hanks.

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Atomic Blonde ♛ ♚ 1/2

Oscar-winner Charlize Theron explodes as Atomic Blonde, a neck-breaking, action-thriller, that follows MI6’s most lethal assassin through a ticking-time-bomb of revolution and double-crossing spies.

The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Theron) practices her stamina skills by submerging her face in a tub of ice cubes. As she emerges, her completely naked body could rival a cyborg, or at the very least, A Sports Illustrated model.

Broughton’s impossible mission sends her to Berlin, 1989 – the Gorbachev years – to deliver a priceless dossier. Instead, she partners with Chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies.

At first it sounds exciting.  The concept of a female Jason Bourne or James Bond. But remember Lara Craft Tomb Raider?  Or Uma Thurman in Kill Bill?

This isn’t that.

Movies-past had crafting, had character, and certainly dimension.  This film – full of 80s KGB, Bowie soundtracks and boom boxes – is all sizzle without a soul.  Theron plays a well-oiled machine with an icy stare and little else.  And McAvoy, always the incredible character actor, can’t seem to break out of his bad-ass Trainspotting mode.

But, as the Berlin Wall comes down, the movie’s frustration go up. As an audience in the middle of a scene, in the middle of a laugh, we’re caught off guard when the next moment is viciously violent. Its plot seems too literal for its own good.  But the slick 80s punk sound track is a pure throwback and could garnish a ‘five tiara’ rating on music alone.

Toby Jones and John Goodman appears to be underused as actors in this, but just wait. The ending is worth a few twists and set-ups for a sequel.  (spoiler alert).

Atomic Blonde is based on a series of graphic novels THE COLDEST CITY.

But in the end one wonders…if only Quentin Tarantino had directed this David Leitch film.   Alas…. 2  ½ tiaras


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