Atomic Blonde | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Atomic Blonde

David Leitch’s comic actioner depicts spy-vs.-spy in 1980s Berlin


It’s November 1989 and in the divided city of Berlin, the wall is about to fall. But first, there’s some last-minute East vs.West spy business to take care of. Lorraine (Charlize Theron) is an undercover MI6 agent sent to the German city to meet up with another British spy (James McAvoy). They, like their East German and Soviet counterparts, are after a list of spies, which includes the identity of a double agent. In David Leitch’s comic actioner, there is plenty of old-fashioned ultra-violence (mostly being hit in the face and kicked in the balls), neon-lit rooms, colorful characters with dodgy motivations and a mix-tape’s worth of your favorite early-1980s synth-pop songs like “Blue Monday,” “99 Luftballoons” and “Voices Carry.” (Theron also rocks smokey eyes and a number of stylish coats and mini-dresses.) The film is a fun-enough summer diversion, but it’s not nearly as clever or stylish as it thinks it is. 

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