Atomic Blonde [spoiler free] #review

The trailers and promotional posters all had me excited to see this film in theaters since day 1. I am a fan of spy movies and period pieces usually intrigue me. The story is simple enough to follow as well being that it’s about an undercover MI6 agent tasked with recovering a missing list of double agents in Berlin during the Cold War. So does this retro espionage tale deliver an adventure that’s sure to bring the wall down or should it be taken out back behind the dumpster? Let’s dive in and take a look in this review…


David Leitch directed this film and the only other directing credit on his IMDB was uncredited for “John Wick”. So we can safely say that this is his first official major motion picture directing job. I was impressed but not wow’d by his directing of this film. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie actually. It did feel similar to “John Wick” with the gun play and fight scenes which make sense after learning he worked on that film. However, I felt like the story itself could’ve been built out a bit more. I appreciated the characters and how he got each of them to be something different. So, each scene, if three people are in the shot, it feels like 3 people and not like someone is there unnecessarily. I thought he gave us entertaining performances across the board.


The acting talent in this movie is also strong. John Goodman, Eddie Marsan, Toby Jones, Til Schweiger, James McCoy, Sofia Boutella and Charlize Theron. There’s so much quality in this list that it is almost unfair. This cast was great. Even the smaller parts, for example, the cop that beats up the guy with a skateboard, he was believable! Everyone showed up for this film and performed well their parts. I don’t recall any one particular character who I thought was unbelievable or miscast. In general, I appreciated each of them. And as always, John Goodman. He’s always great. He has a couple really nice moments in this film with Charlize and Toby that I think you’ll enjoy.


The action sequences in this film also look great. The film in general looks great. This is the most stylized action/spy film I think I’ve ever seen. Everything about this movie is style. The outfits, the dressing up of locations to look like something right from an 1980’s music video about Berlin, the color palette used for particular scenes. In the trailer we see that shot of Charlize coming out of a bathtub full of ice. That entire scene is that blue/chrome and it look incredible on the big screen. This film felt like an art student fell in love with the style of the 1980’s and also had a fondness for violent espionage movies. While I was watching this I could tell a lot of attention went into the design of things. Again, costume, how a scene is colored, the locations, etc. This is an exciting and well dressed movie. Even the descriptions for what city the scenes are in was done creatively. So good!


Atomic Blonde” is in theaters now. I really enjoyed this film. I know there are some negative bits out there about the story being weak and predictable but I didn’t go into the movie for an epic story. I wanted a rock and roll action flick and what I got was that and little bit more. I definitely recommend you see this film on the big screen. If you like spy movies, the 1980’s, action and two beautiful women making love to each other, this is your type of movie. Plus, again, the style of this film is incredible. I’m looking forward to seeing this at least once more in theaters because it’s an entertaining time at the movies. Definitely check out this film out!


Dunkirk #review

The story of Dunkirk from World War 2 deals with heroism. It examines the brave and selfless acts of the citizens who were called to aide the British Navy with a rescue mission of over 200,000 soldiers who were stranded (and surrounded) on the beach of Dunkirk. As the German forces continued their assault on the soldiers from both land and sky, the military men did the best they could to survive long to be extracted. So, does “Dunkirk” the movie deliver on the dramatic and horrifying realties of war or should it be washed out to sea? Let’s dive in and take a look…


Christopher Nolan directed this film and to my surprise it’s under two hours long. The official run time for this movie clocks in at 1 hour and 46 minutes. I can honestly say that under two hours is perfect. The story begins with soldiers walking through a deserted street (as seen in the trailers) and then gun fire starts and the intensity builds from there. The manner in which the story is told was a bit confusing at first as it jumps around in time. However, about 15 minutes it everything made sense and it was easy to figure out where in the timeline we were as the multiple stories eventually tie together. That aside, this movie will keep you on the edge of your seat, from start to finish. The opening scene in “Saving Private Ryan” is intense. This movie is similar to that opening. The entire story is similar to that introduction. There are brief moments that allow you to exhale a sigh of relief but it’s back to edge of your seat and tension mounts and the stress builds almost immediately. This is the most enjoyable stress you will have in theaters this year.


I will say that my only real negative critique on this film is character development. We don’t really get a sense for the characters but that’s ok in this particular instance. The point, I feel, is to experience survival and heroism. This isn’t a film about individuals. We get to examine the cost of war. We examine what it means to be brave, to fulfill duty, to be there when called on and to survive. If time was spent on getting us to understand or care for characters who were most likely going to die, the movie would’ve been much longer. This is direct and to the point. Christopher Nolan does a great job at getting the actors to understand their motivations so that we don’t need it explained to us. We get to see it, first hand. In short, the cost of war is great and we are given a front row seat in which to view it. As events unfold, as characters survive or die, as normal individuals become hero’s and hero’s need saving, you will be on the very edge of your seat for it all.


Dunkirk” is in theaters now! I recommend you see this on IMAX. Spend the extra bucks and get to IMAX. If you don’t have an IMAX screen near you, get to the largest screen possible. The wide open shots in this movie show incredible landscapes and oceans. There are close ups on characters but there’s also scenes where the camera is so far back you get a real sense of how small the airplanes are that are engaged in combat above the water. This movie looks incredible. The story is fantastic. The characters, while we don’t really get to know them, are all wonderful in the parts they are playing. If I can recommend anything beyond simply seeing this movie it’s make sure to get a bucket of popcorn. This is definitely a “shove popcorn into your mouth while never taking your eyes off the screen as you sit at the edge of your seat” type of film. I loved my time in the theater with this story and the characters. “Dunkirk” has knocked “Baby Driver” from #1 to #2 for my Top 10 films this year. Go see this film in IMAX (or whatever your largest screen is). Go now!