Stars: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, Sofia Boutella, John Goodman, Toby Jones, Eddie Marsan, Bill Skarsgård, James Faulkner, Roland Møller, Til Schweiger, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson.
Director: David Leitch
Screenplay: Kurt Johnstad
One thing and one thing only matters and that is Charlize Theron kicking a whole lot of ass, and that is what she did in spades. Neon, 80s pop, East Berlin, Theron, Theron, Theron... damn.
Set in November 1989 on both sides of the Berlin wall, a retelling of Lorraine Broughton's (Charlize Theron) latest mission that did not go to plan. Lorraine, a British MI6 spy has been sent to Berlin to track down a list that was stolen by the Soviets. That list contains the identities their spies — so it's Skyfall only set 30 years ago so instead of a hard drive its written inside a watch. As Broughton retells the tale we are thrown into the near perfect expression of late 80s beauty with flare and contrast between the communist world and capitalism.
Theron as always steals your attention at every turn, and even with James McAvoy (playing David Percival) doing his always on point character acting, Theron's no nonsense limited talking Lorraine makes it a one woman show. Her presence is infectious but it does not simply come down to her aura but her insane ability to hold together not one, or two but many intensely long fight scenes together. Theron and director Leitch have created some of the more entertaining fight scenes that I have seen for some time. They are brutal but also beautiful.
This film feels exactly as it should, while it is glamorous it exudes the times to a T. East Berlin feels suppressed, feels rundown and depressed. West Berlin feels prosperous, feels warm. The style feels of the time and not our 21st century version of the time. And the style is sick, there is so much for the eye to soak up in its neon glow, cold coloured streets, depth of field with gorgeous foregrounds of beautiful people and beautiful objects. This is a love letter to the aesthetic and ideology of the time that only exists in a twisted version of our nostalgia.
The plot is thin, the motivations are weak, but really I don't give a crap because this film is too fantastic. There were times that the filmed bored me as I lost focus while the plot meandered but what brought me back was its fancy packaging and I am not ashamed to say I fell for its aesthetics because when they are done this well, it really don't care.