Wednesday, 9 August 2017

WONDER WOMAN: Charlize Theron returns to sizzling form in inky action thriller Atomic Blonde

CALL HER LORRAINE: The Oscar winner defies the odds in her latest role.

CHARLIZE Theron, by all appearances, is carving out a niche for herself in the realm of action cinema. The Oscar winner stunned critics and audiences with her transformation and spot-on performance in 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road, and earlier this year she brought the heat (and some throwback braids) in Furious 8, opposite Vin Diesel and the gang.

This summer, she adopts a British accent and returns to butt-kicking form to star in Atomic Blonde as Lorraine Broughton, a tough-as-nails agent who gets sent to punk-rock Berlin on a top-secret assignment. It turns out to be the most challenging and perilous undertaking of her 'career' with one near-death experience after another.

But Theron's Lorraine (who teams up with a slippery contact played by James McAvoy) loves the adrenaline rush (and her vodka) and racks up a body count that only increases in the wake of some truly acrobatic stunts — including a high-flying escape through a way-above-ground window, using a cord hung around some poor bloke's neck. 

John Goodman and Toby Jones co-star in this inky, action-packed thriller, based on a graphic series adapted for the screen by writer Kurt Johnstad and directed by David Leitch, who pulls some captivating stuff out of his leading lady. 

We always knew Theron was cut out for these kinds of roles. The signs were there all along. And it has nothing to do with the fact that the South African actress has the statuesque built of an Amazonian warrior queen; she draws on craft and technique and rigorous training to make her death-defying work on-screen appear effortless. 

Aeon Flux was a huge flop (stylish though), but since then Theron has redeemed herself many times over. The primary highlight of her career, of course, is nabbing the Best Actress Oscar for inhabiting one of the most unglamorous roles in history: that of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in 2003's Monster. A year later, she was back in the race for playing a beleaguered mine worker in North Country

These days, she's enjoying a change of pace. Those kinds of dramatic parts are in the rear-view mirror (for now, at least), as Miss Theron morphs into this era's queen of the (action) pack. Tyrone's Verdict: B

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