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THE LATEST ACTION HEROES

on ATOMIC BLONDE, BABY DRIVER, THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD and DOG EAT DOG So, this is the current state of American action thrillers in the super-hero/franchise era: unlikely action heroes, starring in sarcastic, post-Tarantino actioners full of bantam-weight wink-wink wisecracking and hyper-realistic, ultra-violent bloodshed. Comic books in genre vestments, trying to pass themselves off as what they’re not; mash-ups that want to be at the same time utterly retro and of its time, but all of them trying so hard they end up trying too hard.

At least, Baby Driver does not attempt to say something serious about the state of the world — it’s just a pop heist romp from the manic genre-subverting imagination of Edgar Wright (the Brit genre collagist of the “Cornetto trilogy” with Simon Pegg), about a young getaway driver who gets more than he bargained for. Atomic Blonde is the worst offender in this case: this adaptation of an actual comic book tries to have its John le Carré cream tea and its …

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