Atomic Blonde and all the images you see in this review are owned by Focus Features
Directed by David Leitch
Holy crap! The day has FINALLY come, hasn’t it!? There are usually a handful of movies that I genuinely look forward to each year and for most of 2017 the big one was this Charlize Theron spy thriller with a lot of bloodshed and a lot more attitude! The trailers looked phenomenal with Theron putting her heart into this John Wick knock off (it even has one of that movie’s directors) and James McAvoy being… well James McAvoy, but that’s why we go to see him in movies! Still, a trailer isn’t always true to what a movie will ultimately be about and while I certainly have high hopes for this, I should PROBABLY temper them lest my expectations get too astronomical and I end up setting myself up for disappointment. But still! CHARLIZE THERON PUNCHING DUDES IN THE FACE! How COULD it go wrong!? Well if it does, we’ll certainly find out!!
The movie begins with the death of an MI6 agent (Sam Hargrave) in East Germany right at the tail end of the Cold War, and the British Government are in desperate need of someone to clean up the mess the poor bastard left behind. Enter Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) who given two objectives to complete once she gets there; find THE LIST that the MI6 agent had secured before getting a bullet in the head (you know, that list of EVERY SPY EVER that’s in EVERY SPY MOVIE EVER) and find a double agent known simple as Satchel who is more than likely responsible for this whole mess. Her only contact in the country is MI6 agent David Percival (James McAvoy) who’s gone DEEP undercover in the Berlin punk scene but has more knowledge of the country’s inner workings than anyone else. Of course, nothing is as simple as it seems as there’s a French agent rather conspicuously following them around (Sofia Boutella), there’s like five different German/Nazi dudes who hate punk music trying to find her, and she keeps getting stymied at every turn presumably to the machinations of that darn double agent! Will Lorraine find this list that could CHANGE THE TIDE OF THE WAR before it falls into the wrong hands? Who is this mysterious double agent, and could they be closer than she dares to believe? How is it that all the hired goons keep finding her so easily!? Is it the hair? It’s probably the hair.
Underworld: Blood Wars and all the images you see in this review are owned by Screen Gems
Directed by Anna Foerster
They managed to fit both an Underworld sequel and the final Resident Evil movie in the same month!? I mean sure, we’ve got a crappy horror movie and that Monster Trucks things as well, but way to step it up for January! Okay so NEITHER franchise is what you’d call paragons of cinematic exceptionalism, but they’re both fun in their own right and I remember the last Underworld movie being the best so far which this is a direct sequel to. Then again, the LAST direct sequel (Underworld Evolution) wasn’t a bright spot for the franchise, but maybe they’ve learned their lesson since then and can elevate this franchise to heights comparable to the MCU! Okay, MAYBE that’s a bit hyperbolic, but at least it’ll probably be better than the DCCU. Does this monster mash continue to kick ass and take names, or is this fifth entry the final stake through the heart that will finally kill this franchise? Let’s find out!!
When we last left our fearless hero Selene (Kate Beckinsale) she had stopped some sort of plot by werewolves to kill all the vampires. Standard stuff for this series, but the added twist was that Selene had a daughter… while she was in some sort of cryo-chamber or something. Well this one picks up some time later where Selene has sent off her daughter to someplace that even SHE doesn’t know where so that she can be protected if the werewolves or the vampires want to use her super blood. If you’ve been following these movies (or listen to the opening monologue that catches everyone up in this one), Selene and her one true love Michael (Sir Not Appearing In This Movie) are super special monsters; the latter because he’s half vampire half werewolf, and the former because… I honestly don’t recall. I THINK it had to do with Evolution, but whatever. The point is that Eve is the combination of a super vampire and a hybrid, so HER blood is AMAZING and everyone either wants a piece of Selene to get to her or they want her head on a stick because of all the super heroics she’s done previously, and this includes the vampires who are still salty about her cutting off half of Bill Nighy’s head that one time. That said, even though I don’t remember the exact reason WHY that happened, I assume it was justified because it was Bill Nighy. Alright, so that’s all the backstory leading into this movie, now what is the movie actually about? Selene is given a chance to earn forgiveness from the vampires if she comes back and works as some sort of trainer for their raw recruits in their army which is of the utmost concern considering this damn war between the werewolves and vampires is starting to turn against them and they are desperate for anything that will help them turn the tide; even if it’s from the one who cut off Bill Nighy’s head. The reason for this change of fortunes seems to be the werewolves’ new leader Marius (Tobias Menzies) who’s managed to corral them into an effective fighting force and also seems to be the primary one after Selene or Eve’s blood… for some reason. Like I said, she’s a SUPER vampire now, so I’m sure the werewolves can figure out a good use for it! Now with all that working against the vampires, including the fact that their basically down to two covens, you’d think they’d ACTUALLY work together, but unfortunately there are some bad apples there who are hoping to not only seize control of the coven, but frame Selene for awful crimes in the process. Could it be returning characters David and Thomas (Theo James and Charles Dance), newcomers to the series Semira and Varga (Lara Pulver and Bradley James) or someone else that I won’t even name!? What about those albino vampires that look like they’re stuck on top of a snowy mountain? Where do they fit into all this? The real question though is does ANY of this matter when you’ve got VAMPIRES SHOOTING MACHINE GUNS!?