John Wick assured that anytime stuntmen-turned-co-directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch do anything, I will watch the living hell out of it. Leitch didn’t return for John Wick: Chapter 2 (which did not disappoint) largely because he was flying solo on the now-titled Atomic Blonde, which just dropped a trailer and, yeah, I am 100% holy shit in love with this Cold War actioner already. Stop what you’re doing and watch it right this moment.
Normally, I’d be bummed out about the annoying use of a slow, maudlin cover of a well-known pop song, but in this case, one, they play with the device a bit, and two, good god, I don’t care, they can play whatever the hell they want over that long single take of Charlize Theron wrecking dudes. And I love that “Academy Award Winner Charlize Theron” flashes on screen right after she finishes pummeling goons, that’s spot-on perfect and sets the tone.
From an action standpoint, Atomic Blonde shares obvious DNA with John Wick. The fights are elaborately staged and choreographed, brutally efficient, and filmed without ubiquitous close ups and lightning fast edits. This give you a raw, I’m-watching-a-real-fight vibe. And Theron looks like she pulls it off. I know those scenes with her and Sofia Boutella (Kingsman: The Secret Service) are supposed to be all sexy and whatnot, but I can’t wait to see the two of them throw down, that should be a great deal of fun to witness.
Based on the graphic novel The Coldest City, here’s the Atomic Blonde synopsis:
The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Theron) is equal parts spycraft, sensuality and savagery, willing to deploy any of her skills to stay alive on her impossible mission. Sent alone into Berlin to deliver a priceless dossier out of the destabilized city, she partners with embedded station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies.