Thursday, 27 July 2017

Theron kicks butt in Atomic Blonde

I really wanted to love Atomic Blonde but it didn't quite have the finesse of a Bond or smarts of a Bourne film.  What it had was Charlize Theron, a strong, sexy beautiful woman who kicked butt on all the men in the movie.

Theron, a former model had the most beautiful wardrobe for a Spy as does James Bond.  The difference was that she did all her butt kicking in 6 inch heels.  Her outfits looked like she was going to walk a British Fashion week runway.  Who wears white and mini skirts when they know they are going to have to fight bad guys?  Because Charlize is a model/actress she has perfected the sexy strut and serious stare into the camera.  She is a beautiful woman who oozes sexuality and strength and she did a great job in the fight scenes but they were laughable because of the zombie men she was fighting.  People actually laughed during some of the fight scenes.  Spoiler.. one guy gets stabbed with a set of keys and just pulls it out and no blood runs and he just goes on to try and beat her up.  As a trained makeup artist I followed the makeup closely and most of it was excellent but as someone that also worked in a hospital I found that what happened during the fight scenes so unbelievable that it was distracting me from just enjoying the film.  

It's a grungy, gritty looking movie mostly shot dark and without color except for her pink stillettos.

Most of Charlize's acting was ok but I found her accent slipping all over the place.  Was she English, American, something else,  who knows.

The thing that annoyed me the most though was the directors choice to linger on Charlize's naked body for a long time at the beginning of the movie.  If a Bond or Bourne movie started with 10 minutes of Daniel Craig or Matt Damon naked sitting around and taking a bath people would go nuts about it.  If there are nude scenes with them they are short and have a point.   I would have been ok with her getting dressed and you see touches of her injuries but these scenes seemed to be for the director to watch her sitting around naked for a long time.  If you want to start a trend of women being action hero's and spies skip the lingering nude scenes and focus on their strength and character.

Then there is her female French spy lover but the film starts with a happy photo of her with a man who was killed.  Is she gay, is she bi is she just who knows what?    When Bond or Bourne have love scenes they seem to make sense in the context of the film but of course there are times when they are ridiculously timed as well.  

Then there is James McAvoy who plays an obnoxious lying arrogant shady spy.  I normally like him in films but this character was hard to like.

I know there are flaws in a movie when I watch it and think of how I would have made the movie if I was the director.  Even with my small short film experience and working on other people's films I have learned a few things and know that I would have done a few things differently.  When my mind starts to go there I know that it's not quite there.   If a movie sucks me in I don' t think about ways to change it.

I am not sure if it was the writer or director who could have made a better version.   I would have liked to see if more clever.  She comes across as smart even though her dialogue isn't very smart.  There isn't a lot of depth to this film but there could have been with a few less fight scenes and more backstory.

I really hope the film does well because that will mean they will start a flood of action films with women in them.  All the guys leaving the film thought it was amazing.  For me as a woman who has worked on films I think we can do better.  Charlize produced it but maybe the director should have been a woman and it might have had a lot more to it.