Atomic Blonde stars Charlize Theron as MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton. After a fellow agent is killed in Berlin while in possession of “the list” that would uncover every clandestine operative in the area, she is sent to recover the list and take down the agent’s killers before it is handed over to the KGB or sold to the highest bidder. She is ordered to cooperate with the Berlin Station Chief (James McAvoy) who may not be all that appears.

There are a lot of things to like about Atomic Blonde:

It has great fight choreography. It’s directed by David Leitch who has an uncredited director’s credit on John Wick and is set to direct Deadpool 2. His film roots are in stunt work so he understands what it takes to build an action scene.

It has an interesting style. The entire film has a bleached look which is no doubt a reflection of the title. It takes place in Berlin, right before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and everything in the film reflects that era when western culture was seeping its way into East Berlin.

The soundtrack is electrifying consisting mostly of 1980’s new wave hits. It opens with I Ran (So Far) by A Flock of Seagulls during a car chase and then transitions to David Bowie’s Cat People. The entire film is scattered with songs from artists like Nena, Depeche Mode, The Cure, New Order, and Public Enemy.

Charlize Theron is great as our heroine MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton in Atomic Blonde. It’s the most physically demanding film she’s ever done and you can tell she went all in for the role. She’s already one of the best actresses around she put in hours of training to pull of the fight choreography that was required to make this movie work.

James McAvoy is equally great as David Percival. He’s a bit of a rogue and you’re never sure which side he’s on or what his endgame is. His role isn’t as demanding as Theron’s but the two play off each other well as different sides of a coin.

For all those great things, I’m having trouble deciding if I liked Atomic Blonde. There’s something about it that didn’t make a connection with me. It’s probably because it has a confusing spy story. It was never clear on what Charlize Theron’s objective was in the film. She had one given to her by MI6 but she never really took steps to achieve that goal. The ending does a decent job of wrapping things up but the journey to get there is hard to follow.

Can I say I liked a movie without recommending it?

The Emoji Movie also makes its way into theaters this week., This animated comedy takes place in Textopolis, a world inside a smartphone that's inhabited by various emojis. There, an emoji named Gene, voiced by T.J. Miller, is ashamed that he has multiple facial expressions while his colleagues only have one each, and he embarks on a quest to be like everyone else. James Corden, Anna Faris, Jennifer Coolidge, Patrick Stewart, and Maya Rudolph also lend their voices to this film from Sony Pictures Animation.

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