Atomic Blonde Breakdown
Like many contemporary action films, Atomic Blonde seems to be structured around sequences. And also like many pure action films, there are no internal goals. This is all external goals and actions. Though I've focused solely on sequence structure, the end of Sequence 7 functions much like a typical end of Act 2 (in a Three Act Structure) where the protagonist faces a major failure and finds themselves at their lowest moving into the final parts of the movie (see breakdown below). It's all worth noting that the goals for Sequences 2-5 are not very strong or well defined goals, especially in relation to other action movies. But the goals still give general shape to those sections of the movie and help the viewer have a general sense of what's going.
Also, watch this episode of the 241 Podcast, where we discuss the structure of Atomic Blonde in more depth along with our general feelings of the movie.
As always, these breakdowns contain SPOILERS, and are only recommended if you've already seen the movie. You can check my introduction to these breakdowns, to get an overview of my process and philosophy to these breakdowns.
Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below!
Director: David Leitch
Writers: Kurt Jonstad, based on the graphic novel by Antony Johnson and Sam Hart
Release Date: 2017
Runtime: 115 minutes
Protagonist: Lorraine Broughton
External Goal: Get the list of secret agents | Remain undiscovered
SUCCESS | FAILURE
Internal Goal: None
Like a lot of pure action movies, Atomic Blonde has no internal goals. Though there are two separate external goals listed, they are highly related. The best way for Lorraine to remain undiscovered as Satchel is to keep the list out of the hands of MI:6 and the KGB.
I've broken Atomic Blonde down into 9 sequences: