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But this – as the introductory caption informs us – is not that story.Instead, it’s a cod-Le-Carré-like tale of espionage and counter-espionage.British audiences may feel let down by the visualisation of the monster, which seems to have stumbled in a clumsy, stop-motion way out of the Fifties themselves.Until you realise that’s exactly what it is – a modern tribute to the thoroughly Japanese Godzillas that have gone before.
Theron's Broughton (left) sports so many variations on the smoky eye that you wonder whether she has any time left for actual spying at all, let alone a lesbian liaison with Sofia Boutella (right), a young French beauty This is a film that positively panders to its predominantly young, predominantly male target audience, although a scene that sees a young woman in sexy underwear being horribly beaten up by a male attacker is definitely a step too far.We’re impressed (both with Theron’s English accent and her commitment to the very physical fight scenes), we’re reasonably entertained, but we’re not remotely involved.What saves it is the setting, the music and a couple of late twists – one rather good, one somewhat disappointing.Oozing a dangerous screen charisma, Mc Avoy has clearly learned from his unhappy time opposite Jolie in yet another female action hero film, Wanted, from 2008.Theron, who also executive produces, is also pretty good, albeit in a film in which style triumphs over substance in every scene, where the camera work is as quick and slick as the editing.
A British agent has been executed by a freelance Russian thug, who has stolen ‘the list’ that the Brit had just received from a nervous Stasi defector (Eddie Marsan). One of the weaknesses of the film – directed by David Leitch, who has worked on both the Deadpool and John Wick franchises – is that it’s never quite clear.