Written by Manisha Lakhe
The Blonde Is A Bombshell. The Story Is A Dud.
There are spy movies and then there are pretend spy movies. This movie belongs to the second type. It’s all style and no substance. A battered and bruised Charlize Theron kicks butt, kills every bad guy, and the audience immersed in the action and the music realises – only when end credits roll – that story was a dud.
The soundtrack of this film can easily rival that of Baby Driver, but that’s not why we want to see a spy vs spy movie.
The action of the film is just superb. You’ve seen Charlize display awesome driving skills in Mad Max Fury Road. Now you see her kick butt in super high stilettos. The action scenes are simply stunning. So good, you forget that her ‘package’ was shot at from the first floor level and when she fights with the baddies – and what a fight it is – she seems to be coming down endless stairs.
My jaw has stopped falling on the floor with single long shots during action after Birdman. But a fight she fights inside the apartment (in that confined space) made me feel just as vicious as she felt, and made me feel her pain every time she crashes into something. You begin to wish one of them gives up. You want her to bash the bad guy’s head into pulp. Now that is one good fight.
But when you see Machiavelli propped up especially for everyone to notice and quote is such a pathetic thing you groan. To have James McAvoy behave badly for everyone to see is such a terrible show of hands. The bosses already told her the chief has gone rogue. Then it’s proven. Where’s the mystery in that? And when everything in the plot seems dumb, they show two women kissing. Oh, come on! Do you have nothing else to give to your audience but a little titillation and dumb dialog like, ‘When you speak the truth, your eyes change color’… Such a waste. All these things look interesting in a graphic novel, but in a film? Lame.
That Charize Theron is gorgeous is of no doubt. That she can hold the attention of testosterone filled audience is also debate free. She also demonstrates the ability of walking in super high stilettos on cobbled streets without stumbling. She kicks butt, kills every bad guy in the movie, shows off her battered and bruised body, smokes like it’s back in style, and makes you wish you looked this good with half a bruise on you.
That apart, the film gives you nothing. The plot is wafer thin and you can see the end coming from a mile away. The Berlin wall crumbling is just there by the way, to add to style. Means nothing. If you want a spy story set in Berlin, stay at home and watch Bridge of Spies. If you like style, then watch this film.