Styles, 7 Cities: See How Charlize Theron Wears Couture Across the Globe

Focus Features shows Charlize Theron left and Sofia Boutella in

ATOMIC BLONDE is adapted from a graphic novel, "The Coldest City," directed by David Leitch, who helmed JOHN WICK and is set to direct DEADPOOL 2. Neon lights dominate, as does half-lighting and cigarette smoke. But Theron still wants to see female characters grow and not fall into the same tropes that have been around Hollywood for decades.

Atomic Blonde is in theatres Friday, July 28.

Based on the trailers alone, Atomic Blonde is set to be an action-packed, adrenaline-fueled ride. As I went down that process I started to attach to a few things to it -like how do we aggregate '80s cool in terms of the music and the look and the style of the costumes, and then how do we make the city of Berlin a character in addition to this other sort of insane cast of characters that we had. Although Theron has proven her action bona fides in movies like Mad Max: Fury Road, I don't think we've ever seen her quite as lethal as when she dispatches with enemies using an array of kicks, punches, as well as whatever else she can grab as a weapon, including a hose, an electric hot plate, and a house key.

Of course, Theron deserves most of the credit, says Leitch. Theron is Lorraine Broughton, an MI6 agent attempting to hunt down a compromising list of agents that has surfaced and could potentially cause problems if it gets into the wrong hands.

Theron is Lorraine Broughton, a British MI6 agent on a mission to retrieve a crucial document from a fellow agent (James McAvoy) who's "gone native" on assignment in East Berlin. Plus, she explains the whole thing in flashback to her superior officers played by Toby Jones and John Goodman for extra exposition, theoretical narrative efficiency, and the occasional joke. It's a nice example of soundtrack choices doing the work of the screenwriter; the theme introduces Broughton as someone, like the protagonist of the Cat People movies, who has a primal urge for violence that she is conflicted about but is nevertheless powerless to stop. As a precaution, the savvy, experienced Lorraine establishes up her own network of contacts. "It lends itself to an element of surprise, because it's not the same thing you see in all of these spy movies, where the guy meets the girl and now I'm just waiting for them to get in bed". Broughton is brought into a dim MI-6 interview room to tell her version of events but the tensions are thick. It's a good idea, as the Keanu Reeves vehicle was nearly flawless in its simplicity: A retired assassin mourning his recently deceased wife is attacked by thugs who take the only thing he has left to remind him of her - an adorable little puppy.

Which happens often; Theron isn't any more afraid of looking like a trampled rag doll in this picture than she is of her male foes. From there, it backtracks to Lorraine getting sent to Berlin, where a British spy has just been killed over a list that includes the names of every espionage agent working in the city, regardless of allegiance. She's a woman who doesn't have to be what others expect her to be. She angrily confronts the station head, who seems to be hung over and marginally interested in his job, yet threatening nonetheless.

But wow, that one sequence alone almost makes up for it all.

The twisty plot also features Eddie Marsan as a Stasi agent codenamed Spyglass, Roland Moller as Russian agent Aleksander Bremovych and Johannes Johannesson as his henchman Yuri Bakhtin. With the help from Delphine Lasalle (Sofia Boutella - The Mummy, Star Trek Beyond, Kingsman: The Secret Service), a French undercover agent, they get closer to finding out who has been setting them up. Bill Skarsgard plays Merkel, part of Lorraine's team, while Til Schweiger has a juice small role as a shadowy character called the Watchmaker and legendary German actress Barbara Sukowa appears as the East Berlin coroner.

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