Atomic Blonde: No Spoiler In Thread Title for Tom


If I ever decided to start cataloging my top ten favorite trailers, Atomic Blonde would be near the top. It’s about as perfect a trailer as you could ever put together. And you’ll get no disagreement from me that it was selling a female John Wick. The music, the action all comes together to make you want to see that movie.

I’m glad I saw the movie, but the trailer didn’t lie. It didn’t lie about the music. A very strong 80’s vibe with a mix of popular and eclectic tracks from the 80’s to match the time period:

And it didn’t lie with all the stylized shots. Gritty, dark and grey Berlin contrasted with smart and stylish clothing worn by our heroine. At one point she complains that the KGB made her as soon as she landed, and you have to wonder, with those outfits and that striking blonde hair and fatale sunglasses, how could they miss her?

The plot, as Alan points out, is a standard list of spies that needs securing, but I very much appreciated the setting of late 80’s Berlin and the imminent fall of the wall. It gave an air of authenticity and brought back memories of watching it on TV. I’d also say the plot does more than just move us from one action scene to another. First off there aren’t that many action scenes, and secondly its simplicity is paralleled with a more complex sub-plot of “get to the truth” of this mess.

Another movie popped into my head, but it’s pretty spoilery:

I couldn’t help but think of Apocalypse Now with David Percival being our Kurtz. He’s wandered so far off the reservation and Miss Broughton is setting out to investigate how much of its true.

The trailer didn’t lie about the action. It’s hard hitting, fast and our heroine Lorraine is very focused. One particular scene involving a cork-screw quickly brought to mind the great flick True Romance, but it also highlighted our heroine’s professionalism, get it done with anything at hand attitude. Another scene “Wait, Wait don’t shoot” is met with a cold determined pull of a trigger.

Trailers are there to get you to see the movie and while the trailer for Atomic Blonde may have misled me into believing this was going to have a much higher body count, I’m happy that I saw it.


You guys really like movies like this? It looks like the terrible over the top fake movies they parody in tv shows. Another movie about a “too cool” assassin character? Didn’t they try this with Salt? Blargh.


I haven’t seen it yet. I plan to tomorrow.

Salt doesn’t compare because Jolie never had the style or energy of Theron. Any mystique Jolie put forth was just based on smoldering looks at the camera and acting aloof, whereas Theron has a greater range and can pull off the physicality of an action role.


I really like Atomic Blonde. Salt is nothing like this. If there are more “movies like this” you know of, let me know!


Count me in as another person who liked it a lot. Yes, the plot is a rehash of countless other cold war dramas, but it serves as an effective vehicle to showcase the characters and propel the action. The movie even winks at this with the line “sampling: is it art or just plagiarism?”

The main question I have though is if Spyglass had memorized the list, why would he not tell Percival and the British that Lorraine was Satchel? It makes sense for Percival, because it allows him to set her up. But, if I was Spyglass and I heard a double agent was escorting me…
I’d be nervous.

Tom, I like your movie comparison, I didn’t read the spoiler section till after and half way through the movie was guessing the Usual Suspects was what you might compare it to.

Great performances by Theron and McAvoy. And man, that stairway fight/car chase really was terrific. At this point single take scenes like that can feel kinda gimmicky, but they nailed it.


As a major Jackie Chan fan, I saw the umbrella-foiling-sniper thing coming a mile away - but I didn’t love it any less for knowing it was coming.

Man, I just loved the colors of this movie so much. I would like to live in that hotel room, please.

Serious question, when you guys see action sequences in a movie like this, or in John Wick, where things are so fast, so intense, and so brutal, what is your reaction to them? For me, I just laugh with glee at how badass it all is. I might even slap my knee at a particularly satisfying moment. That’s a normal reaction, right?


I’m not sure if it’s normal, but it was certainly the reaction I had, multiple times during the movie. I’m glad you mentioned that.


I’m usually like this:



Watching movie with Dingus involves listening to him loudly “oof” and “oh!” and “yow!” during fight scenes or when people get shot or fall down stairs or whatnot. When me and him and our friend Tony Carnevale saw John Wick 2, afterwords Tony asked me, “Has Dingus ever seen a movie?”

In Atomic Blonde, it was a tie whether Dingus or Charlize Theron was grunting more.



Saw this today and loved it. Charlize has totally set the bar for a no nonsense female protagonist in an action film. Mark Millar should have to watch this so that he can see that characters can be cool while still being recognizably human. This was much more Bourne than Wick, so the trailers pretty much whiffed on tone.

Highly recommended.


So Tom (and others who religiously avoid trailers), I’m curious if you ever go back & watch trailers after you’ve seen the movie? Or are they superfluous at that point?


Every single time! I love seeing how a movie is marketed after I know what it actually is. So I didn’t think Atomic Blonde was going to be a John Wick from the trailer, I thought it was going to be a John Wick based on the director.

What I discovered was something with a lot more style, substance, and story. John Wick is great, but it’s a pretty simple formula: good lookin’ guy, good lookin’ suits, totally bitchin’ car, cool dog, supersexy gun porn. That’s pretty much it. Atomic Blonde isn’t so superficial. While I was watching, I was initially disappointed. “What’s all this story nonsense? Get with teh fighting already!” But by the time it was over, I was delighted. It had accomplished a lot more than a John Wick movie.

More than usual, I’m so glad I didn’t see the Atomic Blonde trailer before seeing the movie. Every single action sequence is shown in that thing. Every single one.



I was thoroughly confused through most of this. But I liked the hot lesbian scene, the 3rd floor hose fight, and the battle in the stairwell. “Am I still a bitch?” Yes, Lorraine, you certainly are.

Also, watching this movie, I realize I really hated the 80s.

Heh. @ChristienMurawski please tell me you don’t grunt during sex scenes.


This was great. That is all. I don;t think it needs more analysis from me that others have not added.

I did go see a movie to get away from challenges with my wife’s health at home only to find it was peppered with every song my wife, a huge fan of 80’s music, loves. So in that sense, it was a tad bittersweet and reminded me how I wished she was there watching it with me. However, it was a very satisfying action movie and I do not find that genre to be all that creative or satisfying these days. Charlize Theron is nearly perfect.

EDIT: And 1,000 times yes on the Bourne v. Wick argument. I did not think Damon as Bourne would be anything that would interest me or keep my attention. I saw the first two and thought they were shot well, the story lines were good and Damon was great. I love Keanu and Wick was good, but still left me wanting. Have not seen the latest Bourne or Wick, but I cannot imagine either are better than Atomic Blonde.


I was thinking about that hose fight at the gym today. That hose fight has to win most creative ad hoc weapon in a fight since Jason Bourne beat up his attacker with a magazine, then shoved it in a toaster and blew the place up.

I also liked it that she got a draw with one of the men. It happened right about the time I thought: she’s not going to kick every guy’s ass. And then, sure enough, she didn’t.


Father Figure is the Daniel Day Lewis of fight scene music.


haha, the 80s sucked so bad. I had to read that 3x to figure out what you were saying. I’m glad I did. It’s funny. I blame the 80s.


It’s not a grunt, Tim. It’s a whimper.



You should have become a poet. Or a rockstar.