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5 Favorite Things About Charlize Theron's Kick-Ass Atomic Blonde

5 Favorite Things About Charlize Theron's Kick-Ass Atomic Blonde

Atomic Blonde

From the designer clothes to the girl-on-girl lip-locks, our favorite things from the feminist action flick.

At the movies, at least, it's been a fairly good summer for women. Yes, chiseled (white) males still dominate most of the ads and posters you see, but none of those males can boast that they've headlined the fourth highest-grossing film of the year, as Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot can. (And while we're at it, Wonder Woman filmmaker Patty Jenkins can now lay claim to crafting the highest-grossing movie ever directed by a woman). More recently, in a development that bodes well for both women and actors of color, the fearless comedy Girls Trip (with Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett-Smith) opened at $30.4 million, the highest debut for an R-rated comedy in two years, and the highest for any comedy in 2017. This weekend, we were blessed with the Charlize Theron ass-kicker Atomic Blonde, which sees the Oscar winner tackle all her own stunts, and send her capacity for bombshell fierceness high into the stratosphere. Though the movie didn't have the most stellar opening, getting toppled by Dunkirk and (gulp!) The Emoji Movie, for us, it was all about Charlize--what she wears, what she drinks, who she fucks, and how she fights. We've seen the film, and we've stopped gagging long enough to tell you why you should, too.

The Clothes


When outfitting Theron for the movie, costume designer Cindy Evans opted for an almost entirely black-and-white palette, which lent itself to the film's throwback era--it's set in 1980s Berlin, amid the Cold War--while also appearing chic enough for a modern F/W collection. As the hyper-trained and no-fucks-given agent Lorraine Broughton, Theron rocks long trenches, custom coats, and double-breasted jackets from the likes of Burberry, Galliano, and Max Mara. Reportedly inspired by Debbie Harry's style and Helmut Newton's photography, Evans also dressed Theron in pinstriped outfits by Margiela and bodysuits by Balmain, while, for Theron's sidewalk-strutting footwear, the designer pulled killer heels by Dior and Stuart Weitzman. All told, it's our gender-fluid dream wardrobe of the year.

The Music


To help slip us into the stilettos of a hip, 1980s hitwoman, Leitch set the tone with an apt assortment of electro-pop standards of the day, opening with a chase scored to Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus," and letting Theron feel all of her oats while suiting up to Queen's "Killer Queen." Paired with the movie's retro-slick aesthetic of pink and blue neon, the tracks gave us vibes of bygone queerness ("Father Figure" by George Michael), urban revolution ("Fight the Power" by Public Enemy"), and even wistful wartime blues ("99 Luftballons" by Nena).

The Sex


Some will undoubtedly take issue with the fact that Atomic Blonde contains a--spoiler alert!--ill-fated lesbian romance, with one partner dying before the end credits (especially given recent reports of just how many lesbian characters die on TV). Moreover, a straight male director choreographing steamy sex between hot women has a way of setting off exploitation alarms. But it all pretty much works in Atomic Blonde, with Lorraine initially using French operative Delphine (Sophia Boutella), then bedding her more frequently and building an attachment, then legitimately mourning her murder. In this otherwise male-dominated movie, profession, and world, Atomic Blonde uses Lorraine's female bond and sexual fluidity to humanize her.

The Stoli


James Bond had his dry, shaken-not-stirred martinis; Lorraine has her Stoli on ice. In addition to rarely being seen without a cigarette (seriously, a third of this movie's budget might have gone to tobacco companies), the svelte operative is constantly jonesing for this Russian vodka on the rocks, whether she's scoping out a club or a target's hotel room. The peak scene with her drink of choice is when a battered and bruised Lorraine takes an ice bath, rises out of it naked, drops a few cubes from the tub into a tumbler, dumps in the Stoli, and sucks it back.

The Fights


For many, the most appealing thing about this movie is Theron's stirring dedication to its physical demands. Ads on YouTube and beyond hyped-up the actress's lack of a stunt double, and in the many single-take scenes of blistering, no-stops-pulled fights make this all the more impressive. Using wires, guns, her fists, her heels, freezer doors, and even a handy apartment key, Theron singlehandedly takes out dozens of men as the movie soldiers on, and what's more, it never gets old. It's hard to recall the last time a movie with this much ongoing hand-to-hand combat didn't begin to feel tedious. But then, it's even harder to remember the last time this much combat went down at the hands of a woman.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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