Atomic Blonde Review: 6 Ups & 4 Downs

John Wick's got some competition.

Atomic Blonde Charlize Theron Sofia Boutella
Focus Features

Atomic Blonde is out now in UK cinemas, and critics have so far been rightly praising the Charlize Theron-starring action vehicle for its impressively physical set-pieces and compelling central performance.

More than just "Jane Wick" as many have glibly labeled it, coming as it does from John Wick co-director David Leitch, the film's also packed with curious Cold War stylings and is adapted from Antony Johnston and Sam Hart's 2012 graphic novel The Coldest City.

On the other hand, is it perfect? Absolutely not. In fact, it's got more than its share of flaws that mostly stem from a combination of over-direction and indulgent writing, but as a visceral, balls-to-the-wall experience on its own terms, it certainly works a Hell of a lot more than it doesn't.

It remains to be seen whether or not the film's fairly soft box office performance so far will be enough to earn it at least one sequel, but even as a one-off, this is certainly one of the year's more assured and entertaining action thrillers to date...


4. Sofia Boutella Is Mostly Wasted

Atomic Blonde Sofia Boutella
Focus Features

Sofia Boutella has certainly been making a name for herself in the action arena over the last few years with her work on Kingsman, Star Trek Beyond and The Mummy, yet her role in this movie as French undercover agent Delphine Lasalle feels like a curious waste of her talents.

Boutella is a classically trained dancer and put those skills to impressive use in Kingsman and Star Trek in particular, so it's a shame she doesn't get to do much here beyond have a lesbian tryst with Charlize Theron and show up for a few talky scenes.

Given the film's array of crazy action sequences, it's criminal that she didn't get her own zany set-piece to go wild with.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.