Charlize Theron kicks ass and looks cool in 'Atomic Blonde'

Charlize Theron is also the producer of Atomic Blonde

Charlize Theron is also the producer of Atomic Blonde

For better or worse, Atomic Blonde is Theron's show through and through. So it's up to Broughton and the shady David Percival (James McAvoy) to track down the list, embedded in a watch, before that happens.

Strong cast, good direction, interesting plot... you can't ask for much more in a film.

Reeves' John Wick has reinvigorated the industry's demand for action movies.

"Atomic Blonde" is no James Bond adventure, but it's sure to satisfy action junkies. Grier could deliver a line and a punch, attributes that allowed her to cut a swathe in the male-dominated action movie market of the 1970s. The film runs 115 minutes.

Set in 1989 and sprinkled with almost two dozen club hits from the era that eventually shift from evocative to intrusive, the movie involves Broughton's efforts to retrieve a master list of undercover operatives - code-named, unimaginatively, the List - that has been stolen from a slain MI6 agent (Sam Hargrave) by a KGB assassin (Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson). MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) finds herself in this risky, irresistible milieu. Why is the fallback option for espionage plots always a master list of secret agents? Just know that it's stylish as hell, opening with an underwater shot of naked Charlize Theron in a bathtub full of ice cubes, trying to nurse her bruised body, slithering out to light a cigarette and pour herself a glass of glacial Stoli over ice. Sofia Boutella, who was hopelessly lost in that awful "Mummy" movie, is captivating as Delphine Lasalle (these names!), an untested French spy who has a major crush on Lorraine, and she returns the favor in a big way. This form of storytelling, of course, can result in some potentially unreliable narration.

Broughton doesn't trust Percival, and before long she's also concerned about a cute biker chick who's been following her - a woman who turns out to be a French intelligence op named Delphine (Sofia Boutella, last seen suffering along with us through "The Mummy"). McAvoy gets the better half of the script, providing the lively, wild foil to Theron's steely performance. "David was like, 'No you're actually going to throw big dudes.' Alright, let's throw some big dudes". This is still an action movie first.

Theron gave a wide-ranging talk at Comic-Con on Saturday in promotion of her upcoming film "Atomic Blonde" in which she addressed the Hollywood pay gap, her own pet peeves about female action star clichis and whether or not she'd be open to playing a female James Bond, now that even Doctor Who has been made into a woman. It was the most realistic fight sequence I think I have ever seen! These scenes slowly progress in intensity and scope before culminating in a breathtaking fight set in a Berlin apartment where Broughton must protect a Stasi agent from multiple KGB goons.

Lorraine has been sent to Berlin to retrieve a microfilm with a list of foreign agents working in the region. He exudes an easy charm that belies his hidden agenda.

Too many wigs; too many twists; too few reasons to care.

These thugs are cliched bozos, one after another straight out of central casting, in a film that doesn't so much feature characters but rather archetypes of characters. Broughton is just a butt-kicking machine with no backstory at all. Atomic Blonde is foremost an entry in the cinema of cool, with each fussed-over frame drenched in the noir trappings of chiaroscuro lighting and cigarette smoke or luxuriating in late-'80s German iconography or the contours of handsome bodies. The stakes start out small and ramp up as Theron gets closer to the truth. And I don't mean a sense of humor as in the protagonist cracking dick jokes or slipping on a banana peel during fist fights, I just mean basic visual inventiveness.

The imagination of the ATOMIC BLONDE'S fight scenes is dazzling and it really looks like Theron is in there.

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