Hooboy, this film is my aesthetic y'all! A gritty spy film set in the underbelly of Berlin during the tail end of the Cold War. Events leading to the Wall’s demolishing happen in time with the film’s plot, culminating in the Wall being torn down as the climax hits. A female lead who’s state of being a woman influences exactly zilch. I’ve been hearing a lot flak directed at this film. Some calling it an “empty aesthetic” piece, others complaining that it’s a plot-less excuse to watch Charlize Theron beat up men in nice outfits for two hours. To them I say fuck off. Charlize Theron destroying men in slick outfits to the beat of synth music is my aesthetic and Atomic Blonde has just as much, if more, plot than your average Bond film so byeeeee.
Atomic Blonde hit all of my buttons, here are a few: ————————————————————————- • Charlize Theron serving up Looks™ my god I want her entire wardrobe.
• The cinematography is on point - seriously! There were some sick shots in this movie, the camera work was phenomenal and lent to the overall vibe of the film.
• The dialogue?? Amazing. No obnoxious monologuing, no rambling, no exposition - straight to point. Facts only. Characters letting actions speak for themselves. Movie writers understanding that they don’t have to explain every little tiny detail to the audience. Like, yes! Make us pay attention, let us figure it out. Atomic Blonde treats the audience like adults and doesn’t spoon-feed you the plot. I love it.
• Merkel is the real MVP, okay? We got Mr. David “If I really wanted to, you’d have no idea I was tracking you” Percival over here hogging all the screen time when he didn’t even realize a spy was serving him drinks. Meanwhile, Merkel had better connections, he had more connections, he was resourceful, laid low, didn’t draw attention to himself, and was loyal to our number 1 fav triple spy. You go Merkel. You go.
• The aesthetic is on point! There’s a RGB color theme shown throughout in the spray painted location titles, the neon-green old matrix-y computer text for the credits, the neon red and blue lights in hotels and clubs. You really felt like you were reliving your 80s grunge phase - only in Berlin. It was fantastic.
• The SUBTLE 4th wall breaks that happen periodically during the film. For those who have seen Atomic Blonde, you know what scenes I’m talking about. I love those moments, they were points where I was forcefully pulled into the film’s world. I mean, I love fourth-wall breaking in general, but this film did it in such a subtle and precise way that I was instantly captivated.
• That one scene where Lorraine was in a brutal fight with absolutely NO MUSIC - I mean it was just one extended cut of 5+ KGB agents against one MI6 agent going full force at each other in close quarters with only the sounds of the fight itself and the muffled noises from the crowd of protesters milling about right out side the building to serve as a backdrop. Usually music is used during action sequences to build suspense and tension in the audience. Atomic Blonde used the absence of music to achieve the same goal, only it was much more intense because the audience is expecting there to be music where there wasn’t any. It was very off-putting and served to give you a sense of unease, a feeling that something is very wrong, which there was! But I don’t want to spoil the movie too much.
• A female lead who’s allowed to fight as bloody and as hard as a man. Lorraine doesn’t pull her punches, there’s no “clearly-written-by-a-man” sexy bending moves. She’s a cut-throat fighter. Lorraine straight-up goes full-force to knock the enemy down and keep them down, ‘cause, you know, she’s a trained spy??? It’s kinda her job, guys.
• Basically Bond + Bourne but better because Charlize Theron.
• Have I meNTIONED THE AESTHETIC?!? Gah, so great. 80s noir grunge fit this film so well it’s like the era knew Atomic Blonde was coming.
• We get an explicitly bisexual character - Lorraine - and a poc lesbian* - Delphine - together as bad ass spies who kick ass all while having this little thing we humans like to call “emotions.” * ? it’s not stated or referenced so I’m guessing because I don’t recall Delphine mentioning being interested in men
• A wlw sex scene that was intense but clearly not written with the male gaze. #bless
• I didn’t read Delphine’s death as the “kill the lesbian” trope. It read, to me, more like the “kill the love interest to motivate the protagonist” trope. Except twice over due to Lorraine’s previous lover’s death being the catalyst for her being assigned this mission (and thus the whole reason for this movie). I’m still upset that they felt the need to motivate Lorraine in such a cliched manner. However, showing Lorraine shell shocked and processing after finding Delphine made up for it a little bit. It’s not every movie where the woman is allowed to be shown in shock over the death of someone close to them and then immediately gather themselves together and get back to the job at hand. Usually the woman is left “useless,” too emotionally distraught to properly do her job anymore (this is also typically where a male lead steps in and takes over). Atomic Blonde didn’t do that. We saw Lorraine grieve, and then we saw her get back to fucking work. Which is what should be expected, considering her line of work.
• Non-sexualized female nudity!!!!!!!!!! God bless.
• The fact that Lorraine is allowed to have nasty cuts and bruises that don’t magically disappear after a fight because “women must be the epitome of perfectly pristine beauty at all times” especially if they’re “fighter” women.
• Bonus Button: Atomic Blonde doesn’t in any way draw attention to the fact that Lorraine is a woman - it’s never brought up (because why should it be?). Her skills are never undermined because of her gender, she’s seen by the enemy as just as must as a threat as her male counter-parts - maybe even more of a threat, she’s one of MI6’s best agents in the field and there was no “for a woman” qualifier - she just is. Lorraine Broughton: just your (above)average everyday lethal spy. ———————————————– 10/10 - It’s been said that Pulp Fiction changed the gangster film. Well, Atomic Blonde is changing the Spy Film.
I’m so happy that 2017 has given us fantastic female films like Wonder Woman and Atomic Blonde. I look forward to the future, which is looking decidedly female!!
Btw, who the fuck said you couldn’t be feminine and a bad ass??? If anyone ever says that to you, I urge you to show them Wonder Woman,Atomic Blonde, and even Baby Driver or Suicide Squad (for Darling and Harley) as evidence to the contrary.
respite (i feel like this one could’ve been stronger because it was at such a poignant moment in the game and i personally would’ve replaced it with reunited, bc that’s my favourite song on the ost and tbh a much more emotional one to me)
bring it in, guys! doesn’t get a lot of love from what i’ve seen which is really odd because it’s so catchy to me???
BUT THE EARTH REFUSED TO DIE IS MY FUCKING S H I T
good night? do you mean: the source of my happy tears??
appreciate the unappreciated music of undertale y’all, stop focusing exclusively on megalovania