Earlier this year, John Wick exploded back into our hearts with the awesome John Wick: Chapter Two. Well, our favourite dog-lover has some competition with the arrival of this Summer's Atomic Blonde.

Charlize Theron is our eyes into this story as MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton. When a fellow agent is murdered and a highly valuable list of double agents goes missing, putting their lives all in jeopardy, Broughton heads out to a Cold War-stricken Berlin and, with the help of David Percival (James McAvoy), has to go after this list. On paper, Atomic Blonde is a pretty paint-by-numbers espionage thriller - we've seen this premise done to death already. On execution, it still remains fairly formulaic. This is, perhaps, the film's biggest downfall; the screenplay is all a little too conventional and predictable and bland and doesn't innovate on the material much further than your run-of-the-mill spy flick. Its characters are more ato-meh than atomic and the writing is fairly lacklustre, for the most part. The first half of the film, certainly, is quite the drag, eschewing a necessary intellect by pandering to its audiences with constant expositionary dialogue for us to mull over.

However, Atomic Blonde never tries to boast a sharp screenplay. It clearly aims for the "style over substance" mark, with such frenetic whimsicality, and it works terrifically as a disposable, fun night at the films. This is a very entertaining film. It's nothing more, but nothing less. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Visually, it's gorgeous. This is a neon-soaked gem, dripping with colour and style. Of course, the action is great too. Given that we have one-half of the John Wick pairing at the helm of this (and the similarities a given), the comparisons to the Wick films are unavoidable at this stage. David Leitch brings his A-game, though, and there is such a visceral, intense underlay to all the action sequences - each one so masterfully choreographed and executed. There is one scene, in particular, which is a one-take action scene that takes place in a hallway and runs about 5/10 minutes and it is easily the best sequence in the entire film: gritty, impressive and just bloody cool. Charlize Theron is a star. She brings a real edge and badassery to Broughton, really kicking ass and also adding yet another tough, badass, super cool and strong female character to the ranks of 2017. Atomic Blonde is fun. It's held together by the aforementioned glue and remains enjoyable - a stylish, if frenetic, action flick. But, sadly, it's too bland to stand out from the crowd and remain too memorable for too long once the credits being to start rolling.

Atomic Blonde is stylish, explosive and pretty fun - but, sadly, it's all a little too bland and forgettable to stand out from the crowd.


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Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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