A spy movie set at the fall of the Berlin Wall. Lorraine, an agent at MI6 is sent there to retrieve a list of other MI6 spies. Things happen and lots of fighting occurs as everyone is trying to get their hands on the same list.
The movie has a lot of style, and the fight scenes are pretty cool. I did have a problem with the action scenes, which I’ll get into later. I enjoyed the film without ever really understanding it all the way. I didn’t recognize some of the secondary characters on sight, which is a problem since while they have small parts, they do somewhat important things. This might be a film that I should watch twice to understand more, but I don’t really have the desire to. Once is enough.
Being a spy film, there are a lot of sides, a lot of smoking, and a lot of thinking on whether it was all worth it. The answer to the last question? Probably not. The plot feels like something I’ve seen before. I didn’t care that much about if the characters succeeded or not. I did enjoy the characters, though. Lorraine, played by Charlize Theron, has a quiet fortitude. She is put through a lot, and manages to march her way through. Percival, played by James McAvoy, has that sleezy feel that works really well.
The other characters are all fine. Delphine stands out a bit as someone not totally a spy jerk, yet. She’s young and still has some hope.
The film does try to make you guess at who’s playing what sides, but it doesn’t fully commit. Lorraine’s impression of who’s a jerk and who’s nice is pretty much spot on. Not to say that they’re all on her side or against her, but the film does present characters in a certain way that’s not subtle enough. And I did sort of figure out certain other things by the way they framed shots. I guess that’s fine. A movie’s twists shouldn’t come totally out of nowhere.
The style and tone of the movie is great, though. It has good atmosphere, music and lack of music. It knows when to be quiet and let the happenings on screen do the work.
On to my final point. The fighting. It’s brutal. Lorraine is not some super agent. She gets beat up a lot and has to figure out how to defeat multiple enemies by using her environment. There are great long action shots.
So what is my problem with the fight scenes? Somehow, it lacks a sense that things happen outside of the camera. Whenever a character is no longer the focus of a shot, it feels like they no longer move. Once the shot returns to them, they start moving again. This is noticeable because Lorraine does not instantly take out people. She’s fighting the same foes for a while, and whenever they are not on screen, they’re practically doing nothing, waiting for the next cue to strike.
Still, it’s a fine spy movie with a bit of a simple plot. It works on the characters more than the intrigue.