Atomic Blonde [2017] ★★½

Sounds juicy: Charlize Theron kicking ass like there’s no tomorrow. But “Atomic Blonde”, directed by David Leitch, a former stuntman who co-directed “John Wick” (it shows), is neither the action movie of the year nor the disaster I feared. It falls somewhere in between, and for that, I have to cut the movie some slack. One of the things I genuinely liked about it is that you can practically breathe the air of Berlin, circa 1989, where  Lorraine Broughton (Theron), an MI6 operative, is sent to recover a list of double agents. I know, the story sounds basic to the point of deja-vu. But everything else, from the stylish atmosphere, to the superior action scenes, give the movie its much-needed strength. From a killer fight scene in an empty building to a pulse pounding climax, the stage is set for all hell to break loose. A memorable plot is not on the menu. Neither is quotable dialogue. But much like the first “John Wick” film, “Atomic Blonde” is stylish, fast-paced, and one of the guilty pleasures of the summer season. No complaints there.

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