Based on Antony Johnston and Sam Hart’s graphic novel The Coldest City, the movie stars Theron as Lorraine Broughton, an undercover agent for British intelligence service MI6. It’s just before the fall of the Berlin Wall, and someone’s hunting operatives. John Goodman’s character tells her to “trust no one” (though that doesn’t necessarily translate to “Don’t sleep with anyone”).
To avoid getting killed, Broughton wields a stiletto like a weapon, dons multiple wigs, and finds creative uses for a length of rope. And she’s just as deadly with a gun as she is with improvised weapons.
David Leitch, who is also directing Deadpool 2, is a former stuntman, and it shows in his direction — as it did in his previous film, John Wick, which he co-helmed with Chad Stahelski. At CinemaCon, he said there are long fight scenes filmed without cuts. Where many action movies show heroes walking away from pummeling sessions with nary a scratch, we see Broughton with blood streaming down her face and in need of an ice bath to nurse her wounds. She’s badass, but still bleeds.
Theron was so committed to making the scenes look realistic that she cracked several of her teeth and needed root canal surgery, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In the trailer, the crunch of bone and sound of weapons slicing through the air can be heard over the mashup of Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus and Kanye West’s Black Skinhead (aka Personal Yeezus).
Sofia Boutella, James McAvoy, and Toby Jones also star in Atomic Blonde, which hits theaters July 28.
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