The Pleasure of Watching Charlize Theron Throw a Punch

I watched The Old Guard as soon as it dropped and loved it bigly. I’ll review in the next full newsletter, but for now please enjoy this great bit in The New York Times about just how fucking good Theron is as an action star.

It’s not just that Theron throws her punches with force and precision, or executes her stunts successfully; this is not a matter of a capable action star hitting her marks. Watching Charlize Theron fight has become one of the singular pleasures of contemporary American cinema, as close as we’re going to get to the endorphin rush of watching Gene Kelly dance, or Judy Garland sing, or Charlie Chaplin pantomime…

One my fave Theron roles is her MI6 agent, Lorraine Broughton in Atomic Blonde (adapted from Antony Johnston’s graphic novel, below) which has some of the best fight choreography of the last decade.

Like Wick, Theron… thinks brilliantly on her feet, inventively turning the materials at hand into improvised deadly weapons; she wields and deploys a stiletto heel, a corkscrew, a ladder, a shelving unit, a handful of keys, a gun that’s run out of bullets, and a strategically unhooked seatbelt. In the film’s best action sequence, her investigative visit to an abandoned apartment is interrupted by a team of policemen, whom she dispatches with a water hose, a kitchen pot and a refrigerator door.

There’s probably a big thinky comparison to be made between The Old Guard and Chris Hemworth’s Extraction, but for now I think I’m just gonna go roll some Youtube of Charlize Theron wailing on dudes.