3 stars for the fluid direction, the setting, and the gorgeous outfits.
The cinematography goes beautifully with the OST - a collection of
original and remixed new wave/dark wave 80s hits - which I really
enjoyed. It's unfortunate that the director couldn't elevate the film
into something more sophisticated.
Charlize Theron is stunning and has talent, but not even she could save
the mess of a script. Her character Lorraine's bland personality made
the plot even more cliché than it already was. Lorraine is the
stereotype of a classic spy: cool, collected, and emotionless. 'I don't
show emotion on my face because one day it'll get me killed'...you get
the picture. Obviously, that lack of vulnerability and greater
dimension makes for a very boring protagonist. Lorraine simply became a
vehicle to carry out the plot, not a person I could relate to, care
about, or even hate. By the latter half of the movie, I knew what to
expect: Lorraine dressed to the nines and fighting with a straight
face, taking a shot of vodka, and then smoking alone in her room.
That's about as much variety as we get. James McAvoy, her partner, is
her male counterpart - though he enjoys saying 'fuck' twice as often as
she does, and his drink of choice is a shot of jack...Delphine,
Lorraine's lesbian lover, is actually more interesting and likable than
Lorraine herself. Unsurprisingly, the Lorraine/Delphine story line is
given little to no depth and comes across as fan service.
While I feel the director was going for sexy, sleek and mysterious,
many key details were lost in translation. Rather than building on the
characters and focusing more on delving into the story, like how
Spyglass fits into the plot, the director shoves one GORY fight scene
after another down our throats. If violence disturbs you, don't bother
with this one. I left the theater asking myself: why did I just sit
through 2 hours of seeing people brutally strangled, violently stabbed
in the head with a screwdriver, knifed repeatedly, bleeding out,
stabbed in the face with keys, and shot at point blank with their
brains all over the wall? The brutality left me uncomfortable at, and
I guess it's a matter of what you find personally entertaining. But
this isn't an action flick I would call 'fun', not by a long shot.