While Atomic Blonde is being advertised as "a female James Bond," it doesn't go into fancy gadgets and gimmicks.  It does have a solid plot, some very good (and brutal) fight scenes, and lots of fun for star Charlize Theron.

The movie opens in 1989, days before the collapse of the Berlin Wall.  We see British agent James Gasciogne (Sam Hargrave) killed by KGB agent Yuri Bakhtin (Johannes Haukur Johannesson), who steals his watch.

Next we jump to an office, where British spy Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is being debriefed by MI6 execitive Eric Gray (Toby Jones) and CIA agent Emmett Kurzfeld (John Goodman).  Gasgiogne has obtained a list of all covert British agents, which he had on microfilm in his watch; the list also had the identity of Satchel, a British double agent who had been providing information to the Communists.  Lorraine (who had been Gasciogne's lover) was sent to both East and West Berlin to get the list and learn the identity of Satchel.
Unfortunately, the mission is a disaster almost from the start.  Lorraine is quickly identified and attacked.  Her British contact is David Percival (James McAvoy), an agent who's gone native and seems more interested in drinking and partying than getting information.  Agents from numerous governments are after the list, and going to and from East Berlin is a challenge.  Then there's Spyglass (Eddie Marsan), a nervous man who claims to have memorized the entire list.
Atomic Blonde is a decent spy movie.  Charlize Theron does a great job as the title character, an agent who always seems to keep her plans, ideas, and suspicions very private; she also does quite well in the numerous fight scenes.  As for the rest, the plot is a fairly standard spy setup -- who can be trusted?  Who will survive?  Who's the double agent? -- with some twists but no big surprises; and the near-constant pop hits from the 1980s get overdone somewhat quickly.  This is an action movie that's not revolutionary but is satisfying.
Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch

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