Based on the graphic novel the Coldest City is a spy thriller set days before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Lorraine Broughton is a highly skilled British spy on a mission to collect a dossier that could expose countless deep undercover spies. The problem is, determining who she can trust. Her contact in East Berlin, David Percival, has “gone native” in the punk scene. He is working to get a Russian nicknamed Spyglass to freedom in exchange for the information.
Told in a flashback format, we have Lorraine presenting her story to her MI6 boss and a CIA Representative (John Goodman). The film gives you a warning of the fight ahead of Lorraine by introducing us to her after her mission is over…she is severely bruised and covered in cuts. And this is an important thing to understand…
The promotional material would have you think this is just a kick ass action hero type of film. There have been comparisons to James Bond, but this is a very surface comparison. Atomic Blonde is far grittier and the action much more brutal. This is an action packed espionage film, not an action movie.
This is not a criticism of the film, it is quite a good espionage film with plenty of uncertainty as to how certain aspects will play out. Theron’s Broughton is tough and blunt, refusing to quit. Along with the cast, the film’s 80’s soundtrack is very much a character in this film. Chase and fight sequences are set to the likes of Bowie, New Order and Siouxsie & the Banshees with great effectiveness.
Atomic Blonde is a strong and dark thriller full of twists and turns.