2017 has seen a major rise in strong female characters both on television and in film. One of the biggest examples of this is the success of Wonder Woman. Gal Gadot played a female character that not only possessed fierce strength, but also love, compassion, justice among other traits. She stands tall in a man’s world and is a major role model for young girls. The movie has been racking it up in the box office and was a critical hit.
Other actresses like Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon, Elisabeth Moss, Kate Mara and Nicole Kidman have all played female characters that are as complex and compelling as any male role this year. Some of these roles are arguably better than the male roles of this year. Girl power has been in serious effect this year!
Charlize Theron had already in the springtime played a strong female character, Cypher, in the 8th installment of the Fast and Furious franchise The Fate of the Furious.
For the longest time in her career, Theron has played multiple females who lack fear, are tough and at times very powerful. She has proven she can hang with the boys and be as intimidating as them. With Atomic Blonde, Theron goes in a sleeker, smooth route while at the same time showcasing a physicality that is not to be taken lightly. The Oscar winner drives this movie that steers (no pun intended) a bit away from what you're normally used to when it comes to spy films.
Set in November of 1989, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Theron) is tasked with going to Berlin, Germany, to retrieve a list of agents from Russia and bring it back to MI6 in England. She is to be partnered with shady chief officer David Percival (James McAvoy). From the moment she touches down in the country, she is immediately thrust into a grey world of secrets, lies, sex, and violence.
This film serves as an excellent and authentic addition to the spy genre. It is simply cool to watch and you just feel cool watching it too. The story is much more nuanced than other films of this kind. Just like the script and lighting, everything is set in a literal grey area, you don’t really know what to make of idea of Berlin here. You don’t really know what the mission actually entails. The fact that this is a female-driven spy film it really emphasizes that fact that you truly don’t know what to expect going in.
Charlize Theron literally does a kickass job in this. I could not have seen anyone else play this role other than her. From her demeanor, charm and physicality she exhibits bond like attributes but also a few attributes of her own having played badass women so many times. She makes a strong case to play a female James Bond in the future with this performance.
James McAvoy and Sofia Boutella do a killer job with their supporting roles. Both play mysterious individuals who are portraying on thing on the outside but only when you delve deep into the story do you really understand the motivations of these two.
The soundtrack was just flat out awesome. Several dope classic throwbacks to further cement the 80’s time period you have been transported to in this film.
There is an amazing single shot fight/chase scene that served as the highlight of the film. It’s always amazing to see a fight scene in which the camera doesn’t cut or stop moving. You feel the intensity and thrill as much as the characters and it makes for some fun wildness to watch on screen.
The lesbian moments in the film, I feel, were necessary. If you're going to evolve the genre push the boundaries then you need to go for the unconventional. Having a strong female character in the normal place of a man and making the scene touch upon the fact that operatives sometimes have a specific sexual taste adds to the authenticity and makes us realize we aren’t seeing the same kind of protagonist in a spy film.
Overall this is a must-see picture especially for fans of Theron.