She’s beauty and she’s grace, she kicks ass on first dates!
Well, brommandos, 2017 has drawn to an end. With each year’s passing comes time for us critics to reflect on all of the… arguably great cinema we were gifted in the past 12 months.
While 2017 was chockfull of action movies, two, in particular, stood out to me as they both made a splash for the same reason, but are at opposite ends of the map in practically everything else.
So without further ado (or more clichés), I present the genre of MANLY CHICK FLICKS: Wonder Woman Vs. Atomic Blonde.
The Tale of the Tape
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
WONDER WOMAN: Goddess in both strength and form, Diana Prince (see what they did there?), has lived all her life on Themyscira, a magical island where women have learned to coexist.
However, one day, when WWI Nazis carrying better technology than the Amazonian warriors have ever seen, bring violence into their world, Diana summarizes that Aries, the God of War, has returned and leaves her island to fulfill her role as a guardian of Earth.
ATOMIC BLONDE: It’s 1989, the Berlin Wall has just fallen, and this movie don’t give a damn about either. The real story is centered around John Wick’s mother, Lorraine Broughton, who is a top level MI6 agent with platinum blonde hair and enough devil may care style to melt even the most cold-blooded of hearts.
After a colleague is killed, Broughton is dispatched to Berlin to retrieve a microfilm containing a list of all active agents in the area, but (as you can guess from the trailer) will have to wade through a sea of Russian dudes and one sticky French honeypot in order to get it back.
The People Who Get Paid To Talk
Charlize Theron and Gal Gadot are rather evenly matched, each delivering a heroine’s amount of action goods tailored for their specific packages.
Of course, they’re total opposites, Gadot’s doe-y innocence clashing considerably with Theron’s sort of tone-deaf morality.What’s Action A Go Go
While I enjoyed Gadot’s performance in Wonder Woman and think the movie’s overall visual aesthetics and tonality are a vast improvement over the previous DC outings, if comic book films aren’t really your thing, you’ll probably get a larger kick out of Atomic Blonde’s razor-sharp attitude, which delivers its punches head first in a flurry of 80s driven fever dreams.
What’s Action A No No
I’m sorry, but in my humble opinion, Wonder Woman is simply too long and therefore too boring. It’s also sadly ironic that the Amazonians are meant to protect mankind from The God of War, so they hide away on an island where they slip thousands of years behind in weapon’s technology.
On the other hand, Atomic Blonde’s tropes of hard drinking, hard smoking, hard swearing, greyscale morality, are pretty tired at this point as well. Atomic Blonde did marginally well because of its leading actress and retrowave style. Without either, it would have been buried.
The Final Verdict
Atomic Blonde Wins.
Despite Wonder Woman boasting a great performance by Gal Gadot and having 2 1/2 hours of nothing else to look at, except Gal Gadot, the movie itself is little more than yet–another–comic book–film. The fact that it stars a woman does little for me, however, I did like it better than the other DC films so far.
Atomic Blonde wins on style alone, and is a nice coupling of retrowave action mixed with James Bond-esque Cold War espionage (the best kind of movie espionage).
Although it didn’t do as well as David Leitch’s John Wick films as the box office, it did well enough — pulling in $95 million worldwide on a mere $30 million dollar budget. So we may see another one.
Obviously, we’ll definitely get another Wonder Woman so perhaps she has the final laugh after all.
Be sure to check out the rest of our 2017 Dueling Movies articles HERE.