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Atomic Blonde (Blu-ray Review)

13 Nov, 2017 By: John Latchem



Street 11/14/17
Universal
Action
Box Office $51.57 million
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray, $37.98 UHD BD
Rated ‘R’ for sequences of strong violence, language throughout, and some sexuality/nudity
Stars Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, Eddie Marsan, John Goodman, Toby Jones, James Faulkner, Sofia Boutella, Roland Moller, Bill Skarsgård, Sam Hargrave, Til Schweiger.

Longtime Hollywood stunt coordinator David Leitch, one of the key players behind the “John Wick” films, was a natural choice to direct Atomic Blonde, a slick, sexy and intense action thriller that oozes style and cool.

Based on the 2012 graphic novel The Coldest City, a tale of spies in Berlin on the eve of the Berlin Wall coming down, the film relates the story of Lorraine (Charlize Theron), a British operative dispatched to Berlin in 1989 to track down a list of secret agents in Europe before the Russians get their hands on it.

The list was delivered by a Soviet traitor named Spyglass who wants to defect to the west with the help of the MI-6 station chief in Berlin, Percival (James McAvoy), a loose cannon who runs contraband into East Berlin in exchange for information.

Amid the rising protests calling for an end to the Berlin Wall, Lorraine finds herself thrust into a spy world in chaos, unsure of who she can trust.

Adding to the sense of fun is a retro soundtrack featuring 1980s techno hits and a synthesized action score that really embellishes the period setting.

The film’s signature sequence is an exhausting 10-minute long fight scene featuring Lorraine trying to protect Spyglass from several Russian agents, presented as a long, single cut from the street, into a building, and ending in a car chase. The making of the scene is the focus of the eight-minute “Anatomy of a Fight Scene” featurette and is also discussed considerably in the commentary track.

That feature-length commentary, with Leitch and editor Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir, provides a lot of good insights into the making of the film, working with the cast and setting a tone with the action sequences.

Along those lines, the Blu-ray offers two animated storyboards, running about two minutes each, of two key sequences that open the film, with optional commentary from Leitch.

Additional featurettes include the four-and-a-half-minute “Welcome to Berlin,” about re-creating the city in 1989 and using it as a setting for the film; “Blondes Have More Gun,” a seven-minute piece about Theron’s involvement and training for the role; and the four-minute “Spymaster,” about Leitch’s qualities as a director.

The Blu-ray also includes six deleted scenes running about seven-and-a-half-minutes total.


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