Atomic Blonde

Atomic Blonde is a great soundtrack in search of a film.

I think my anger with the film is because of its wasted potential. It could, and should, have been so much better.

The acting is solid, as is the directing and the technical stuff. The make-up department deserve an Oscar nomination. No, seriously. A character goes into shock and they made the character up to the right shade of pale.

The problem is the plot.

It makes no sense. No, seriously.

Without the last two “twists” (neither of which is a twist if you’d paid any attention during the film), it just about makes sense, because of some serious legwork by the actors, mostly Charlize Theron.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

With the penultimate twist, it becomes a solid entry in the gay spy drama category.

Think about it, young British agent, commits a lesbian indiscretion and is blackmailed by the Soviets, becoming Satchel. In protecting herself, she loses yet another chance at happiness and gets Delphine, who is very much the girl she was, killed. But she’s got to see it through to get her freedom. It’s all very bleak and actually works with the story.

Unfortunately, that’s when they throw in the last twist.  Which isn’t a twist and ruins all that has gone before. I’m not joking about it not being a twist. If you’ve ever heard John Goodman’s voice before, you’ll get it about halfway through the film.

With the last twist, a CIA op has killed 3 Allied agents, and one defector, mostly because of a lack of communication by the CIA. And we’re supposed to be happy about this and think it was a successful operation.

Also, MI6 is so incompetent that it didn’t notice a CIA mole, who was pretending to be a Russian mole, for about 10 years.

You’ve got poor Spyglass, killed trying to do the right thing. Then poor David Percival, who is a see you next Tuesday, don’t get me wrong, and in the throws of the traditional British spy middle-life crisis, who finds out that a friend of his was killed by the Russians to protect someone who has betrayed Percival’s government, and therefore goes all dark side. We’re supposed to be happy she kills him, and that he gets blamed for the whole thing, even though she’s the mole and there isn’t a mole, she’s actually triple-agent but the CIA didn’t bother to tell anyone. And I’m like … no.

In short, when your most sympathetic character is a Stasi agent, there is something wrong with the film!

I’m not even going to go into the really weird thing where there is only 1 German actor, who gets no lines in German. All the other Germans and Russians are played by Scandinavians. Now the amassed Vikings all do a damn good job (no, seriously, all my love for Roland Møller and Bill Skarsgård) but if you’re actually filming in Germany, which this was, it’s a bloody odd casting choice.

 

 

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Mo Money, No Problems – Or Mayweather is going to win Mayweather vs McGregor

Mayweather will win Mayweather vs McGregor. He was always going to.  He won it the minute it was announced as a boxing match, not that he would have agreed to an MMA match (nor should he have been expected to).  Mayweather is very proud of the 0 in his defeats column and, at this stage of his career, he’s not going to risk it.  If he thought there was a chance of losing, Mayweather wouldn’t have agreed to the fight.

People keep saying that it just takes one punch to knock someone out, and that that’s the beauty of boxing.  But Mayweather’s style of boxing has always been to avoid getting hit and he has faced far better boxers than McGregor.  Mayweather’s counter-punching style is also going to frustrate the heck out of McGregor, making a wild haymaker from McGregor more likely, which opens him up to a body-shot from Mayweather.  And Mayweather body-shots are a thing of vicious beauty.

McGregor went into this knowing all of that, and is making no bones about being in this for the money, so I don’t think even he thinks he’ll win.  He’ll still try, bless him, but he’s not going to win.

McGregor has one chance – he can win if Mayweather turns up too old.  There’s no way of telling when that will happen to an athlete (Bernard Hopkins was fine till he hit 50, other people are too old at 30.).  I think this is unlikely to happen to Mayweather for 2 reasons.

1 – Mayweather keeps himself quite near to game shape in between fights.  I suspect this causes less wear and tear and keeps him fresher than if he kept having to do big weight cuts before each bout.

2 – Like I said before, Mayweather is really proud of that 0.  If he thinks he’s lost a step, he’s going to call the fight off.

I can see the match going a couple of rounds, because, weird match against Ortiz notwithstanding, Mayweather hasn’t gone less than 10 rounds since 2006.  I don’t think it will reach 10 rounds, mind you, because I really do think McGregor’s going to go for a haymaker and get body-shot before then.  I can see it going 4 rounds.  That’s long enough that people are going to think they’ve got their money’s worth and won’t complain too much.  Although, in the UK, I do not understand why you’d pay to watch this freakshow (let us call it what it is) when you could listen to it on the radio for free.