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George At 

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Atomic Blonde

Every once in awhile a film comes along that's a triumph of sheer style over content. "John Wick" is a perfect example, as is its sequel.

From the same director as Wick, David Leitch, the cold war action flick ATOMIC BLONDE is a terrific vehicle for Charlize Theron.

After "Mad Max Fury Road", we know Theron can be an action star, but nothing can prepare you for her physicality on display here.

Theron plays MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton, assigned to track down a fellow operative that's gone rogue as the Berlin Wall is about to fall.

James McAvoy is the rogue agent, who may or may not still be on the MI6 books chasing a microfilm that gives up every agent in play on both sides of the wall.

John Goodman is terrific as a CIA Boss, Toby Jones (Capote) is a perfectly slimy MI6 superior and Sofia Boutella (The Mummy) finally gets a great role as a young Italian agent who falls hard for Lorraine.

Kicking off with fantastic use of David Bowie's "Putting Out The Fire With Gasoline" over titles that will remind film buffs of 80's flicks "Streets of Fire" and "Into the Night", the film slows a bit in its first 30 minutes, but once Lorraine is on assignment the film picks up pace and launches into the first of its jaw-dropping action scenes.

All the action sequences rate a 10 out of 10. Theron escaping from a mob of bad guys using nothing but rope and the villains as counterweights is set to George Michael's "Father Figure" and the whole scene rocks.

Lorraine's best scene is a long fight inside the stairwell and apartment rooms of a building from which she's trying to escape with a contact.

The scene stands up beautifully to the Crazy 88's Kill Bill sequence and the train fight in "Spectre" as one of the most brutally staged battles in film history.

Watch the camera work in this entire scene. It's amazing. From the moment the first bad guy attacks Theron, the camera weaves in and out of the action, between the foes, under flying fists and eventually into and out of cars as the stairwell battle continues into a street and a car chase.

This twenty minute scene is an A+++. Its fantastic. It's one of the few times in cinema that the brutality and effect of the fight appears real, as do Lorraine's bruises by the end of the scene.

Theron trained for months for the film and it shows. Spectacular.

BUT....when the action wains, the spy story alternates between slow and confusing, before a very satisfying wrap up.

Boutella and McAvoy are having a hell of a time, the 80's soundtrack with The Clash, Depeche Mode, Queen, New Order, Public Enemy and Falco is ever present and ultra cool.

The visuals are amazing.

When the credits rolled, I just wished that the film had been as good as Theron. Let's hope we see her back as this female Bond powerhouse in a film more worthy of her presence.

Adult, profane, ultra-violent and exciting as hell, ATOMIC BLONDE is half of a great movie, but its lesser moments hold it back like Checkpoint Charlie.

We'll give it a C+.

But WOW those action scenes.....drop dead killer, just like Theron.

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