Friday, August 18, 2017

A comic book brought to life

Atomic Blonde (David Leitch) is worth going to see for several reasons: it’s kind of a Cold War spoof, it has highly realistic – and very entertaining – fight scenes, the soundtrack is great, and it’s like a comic book come to life, given that it was based on Sam Hart’s graphic novel The Coldest City. Our heroine, Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is a female James Bond on steroids, a masterful physical dominatrix – and literally, ball buster – of men. And for those who love Eighties rock, that synthesizing electronica of the likes of Depeche Mode, The Cure, New Order and, yes, A Flock of Seagulls, this will bring back memories to a time when rock shattered generic walls and was a hell of a lot more vital than it is today. And for those old enough to remember the fall of the Berlin Wall, well, the entire movie takes place in the days leading up to that event and the night itself. The plot is thin but it doesn’t matter. Broughton is dispatched to Berlin to retrieve a microfilm list of double agents being smuggled into the West. At every turn – repeatedly crossing back and forth between West and East Berlin - she is ambushed by KGB agents but, battered and bruised, escapes every time. The fight sequences are a lot of laughs simply because they’re executed so well on such villainous scum. But what’s also great about this film is the highly accurate depiction of that era – the bargain basement clothing of the poor East Berliners, the ultra-fashionable lesbians in West Berlin punk bars, the entire glossed-up 1980s look against the grayness of a bleak Berlin. Atomic Blonde is an uber two-hour escape.

Here’s a shout out - as I’ve done before – to Metro Detroit-owned MJR Digital Cinemas, for being so progressive and in the forefront. I attended the MJR’s Southgate last weekend to see The Glass Castle (Destin Daniel Cretton) and was wowed by the deep plush luxury seats – the regular seats - with footrests. This is the future of cinemas, folks (Windsor’s Devonshire Cineplex recently announced its conversion to luxury seating). And it’s a way theatre companies are fighting back against home cacooning. Seems to be paying off. On a gorgeous sunshiny afternoon, the cineplex was packed.

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