Graphic novels turned major blockbusters is not a new trend. Marvel and DC have dominated the box office for the past decade, with more action-packed films in the works for the coming years. Aside from the recent release of WONDER WOMAN, the genre has been seriously lacking prominent, powerful women — but now, there’s a new tough female lead taking over the silver screen: Lorraine Broughton.
Unless you’re a huge comic book fan, you’ve probably never heard of her or “The Coldest City,” published by Oni Press (the same company that curated another movie-adapted graphic novel, “Scott Pilgrim”); however, the indie film version, ATOMIC BLONDE, is led by an all-star cast: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy and John Goodman.
Broughton (Theron), an undercover MI6 agent, is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents. She is ordered to cooperate with Berlin station chief David Percival (McAvoy), and the two form an uneasy alliance that only becomes tenser the last few days before the Wall is torn down.
The film was a passion project for Theron. Her company, Denver & Delilah Productions, was sent the unpublished comic in 2012, and ATOMIC BLONDE had been in the works since, until its 2017 release. Theron developed the material with screenwriter Kurt Johnstad and Antony Johnston (writer of The Coldest City) and trained every day (with eight trainers) to do her own stunts, which are extreme, to put it lightly. Director David Leitch (co-director of JOHN WICK) waited for the right film and actor to choreograph one fight sequence in particular, but we won’t spoil that for you.
Almost immediately and through the final scene, ATOMIC BLONDE is high intensity, nonstop conflict, and Broughton’s weapon of choice is anything nearby: high heels, a garden hose, a corkscrew — even her hands are deadly. It’s the ultimate cat-and-mouse game, with twist after twist leaving you guessing “who done it” until the end … and after.
There’s one big twist most action films don’t have: an equally engaging story. In a SXSW interview, Leitch said ATOMIC BLONDE “starts with the story and character, and the action is just sort of the dressing.” The film stayed (mostly) true to the comic’s narrative, but some creative liberties were taken. The production team changed the title, made Broughton blonde and gave the rest of the world color. (The comic is black and white.) They fully embraced the era with an 80’s soundtrack, graffiti art and so much neon. These elements only fuel the excitement and draw you further into this real moment in history.
Don’t miss the Cold War spy thriller on the big screen. Trust us, you’ll want to get up close and personal to the heart-pumping action. Get your tickets to ATOMIC BLONDE now — and then come back to AMCTheatres.com to get tickets again, if you’re like us and still trying to figure out who Satchel is and which side they’re on.