An excerpt from my script review for Atomic Blonde which will be available 07/31/17:
2.) Plot Stability
So before we get too far…
“Watch out for spoilers. You will get SPOILERS!”
This plot felt more Red Shoes than Bourne Identity.
(And based on the trailers, the argument can be made the producers wanted more of the latter.)
We had our obligatory “sexy” scenes that would draw that aforementioned demographic…
Charlize Theron standing up in a tub filled with ice. Various times.
Dropping towels as she changes.
Her and a French agent sharing a rather rough, yet playful evening together.
None of it really added to the plot.
If it’s a nod directly to the nether regions of your male viewers, that’s not creative storytelling, it’s a cheap ploy…unless of course you’re shooting for something that will be on Cinemax late at night.
But back to the spoilers…
If you’re like me you guessed early on that Satchel was Lorraine.
The positive to this though is I was never completely sure, and constantly wondering who to trust (even our hero).
Once we arrive at the ending, it’s set up via photographs, that Perceval was in on it with the Russians.
The end? Not so fast my friend!…we’re delivered a triple twist!
Perceval is Satchel…wait, Lorraine is Satchel working with the Russians…WAIT!…She’s actually working for the Americans!
Although it threw me for a loop, which made for an exciting last 10 pages or so, when you stop to think about it, the twists are all loosely strung together, and realistically wouldn’t work out.
A.) Editting the tape to frame Perceval…
It’s fucking MI6 and the CIA. They’re not going to see the reels of tape hastily pasted together? Even a professional would have a hard time covering that up because it’s 1989.
B.) A covert Russian spy embedded in MI6?
It also didn’t make sense, unless you employ the narrative that Bremovych turned Lorraine while she was on a mission in Russia, which didn’t seem like it was the case.
Following the line of thought that this is the covert intelligence force for the UK, I’m pretty sure there’s a thorough background check in place to weed out possible spies, so Lorraine either would have been caught early on, or it would have taken her a long time to gain trust and achieve rank.
C.) A covert American spy, posing as a Russian spy, embedded in MI6?
Holy shit would this take forever to pull off!
Think of the time involved gaining trust for this kind of position on both sides! And Lorraine has HISTORY at MI6, so it’s not like she’s shrouded in mystery or just showed up.
Did she move to London as a kid? Orphaned a la James Bond? What?!
None of these three points add up to a believable ending.
And that’s my point…
Having twists is great, especially in scripts for the current market, but those twists need to make sense and be plausible!
(Yes, even for a movie.)
You can’t suddenly pull the maid out of thin air telling us she did it, when all we’ve seen is the butler.
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