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Atomic Blonde | DVD review - Charlize Theron would make a killer Bond or Bourne

Atomic Blonde Charlize Theron Sofia Boutella
(Image credit: Jonathan Prime)

Atomic Blonde Charlize Theron Sofia Boutella

Posh, tough, impossibly cool.

Call off the search for the next James Bond. She’s already here. Charlize Theron has what it takes to make a killer 007 and proves it handsomely as a posh, tough, impossibly cool British secret agent in the ferociously entertaining spy thriller Atomic Blonde.

Her MI6 agent, Lorraine Broughton, is in Berlin in November 1989, right before the fall of the Wall. She is hunting for a missing list of all the spies in the city, and her mission is a fiendishly tangled intrigue; fraught with double and possibly even triple crosses.

She can trust no one. Not James McAvoy’s sleazy, self-serving MI6 station chief, David Percival; not slinky French spy Delphine Lasalle, played by Sofia Boutella; and not Eddie Marsan’s nervy Stasi defector. Le Carré aficionados will get the drift.

Atomic Blonde Charlize Theron James McAvoy.

Yet with John Wick director David Leitch giving the action a thrilling brutality, what ensues here is more Bourne movie than Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The fight scenes are remorseless. Indeed, some go on so long that the antagonists are left bloody, bruised, and panting for breath before the end.

We’re left breathless, too. But it’s Theron’s remarkable heroine who really makes us gasp. Looking drop-dead gorgeous as she slinks though Berlin’s neon-drenched bars and clubs pursuing contacts and clues, she’s drop-dead ruthless when it comes to the combat. And, as she proved in Mad Max: Fury Road, few can match Theron when it comes to being badass. We really do believe she can take out a roomful of opponents armed only with a length of hose. Perhaps, if James Bond isn’t an option, she could be the next Jason Bourne.

Certificate 15. Runtime 115 mins. Director David Leitch

Atomic Blonde is available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from Universal Pictures.

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.