My wife and I went on a date last night and saw Atomic Blonde. She enjoyed it — it was the late showing, and she has a tendency to nod off in the theater if there’s any slack in the pacing, but she was bolt upright and wide awake the whole time — and I liked the twisty spy novel plot and shady characters with underhanded schemes. But two major questions were unresolved.
If Lorraine Broughton and John Wick got in a fight, how high would the body count be? Note that I’m not asking who would win, because we all know they would both emerge bloody and battered but victorious, but how much havoc would be wreaked upon assorted minions, passers-by, and crime/spy chiefs? I give the edge to John right now, but only because he’s had two movies and more practice. Lorraine needs a sequel to even it up.
How much did German rent-a-thugs get paid? It can’t have been more than the equivalent of $50K/year, right? Maybe bump it up a bit if they get some kind of hazard bonus, and maybe they’re better off than that with fantastic free healthcare (they need it), but whatever it was, it couldn’t account for the knock-down-drag-out fights they were getting into. Fierce woman charges into a guy, punches him so hard he flies up against a wall; he draws a knife and launches himself into her, she disarms him, stabs him hard in the back, stabs him a few more times in the chest, and he staggers back; he lurches forward again, wham-bam-wham, she pounds him in the face; he reaches for a gun, she throws him down the stairs. What’s his motivation? I mean, if it were me, at the first punch I’d be thinking to myself I’m going to be laid up for a week, it’s going to take more than a couple of ibuprofens to get over this, I’m not getting paid enough for this crap, I think I’ll just take a little nap right here. Heck, just the look on Charlize Theron’s determined angry face would have me backing up and saying “Lady, you win.” But they kept coming!
It’s a very angry movie, and I needed that. It’s also stylish and has a great soundtrack, if you like 80s music. For some reason, Theron reminded me of Iris — I recommend that no one or no thing pick a fight with her.