Linda Holmes hosts from Los Angeles, where she's still attending the Television Critics Association press tour. This week, she's joined by two regular panelists — me and NPR Music's Stephen Thompson — and in our fourth chair, PCHH's resident Poobah of Punching, Chris Klimek.

This episode: We talk Atomic Blonde, the spy thriller dripping with I Love the 80s style elements that's directed with a surprising amount of attention to the logistics of brawling — how it looks, how it feels, and how physically exhausting it is.

We discuss Theron's performance (both dramatic and physical), director/longtime stunt coordinator David Leitch's approach, and — in reference to a set-piece brawl set in a stairway — what makes a great action scene. We also talk about how and why mapping genre conventions we've seen in hundreds of previous dude-spy movies onto Theron's character switches things up in surprising ways.

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