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Atomic Blonde (2017) Poster

(2017)

Goofs

Anachronisms 

In one scene, a man is playing Tetris in colour on a TV monitor. The music coming from the game, however, is from the Gameboy version of the game.
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Delphine Lasalle identifies herself by stating that she works for French intelligence. In reality she would identify herself as working for the D.G.S.E. by using the term S.A. (Service Action), a term which Broughton would immediately recognize.
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Various alcohol bottles at bars and on Percival's desk did not exist in 1989. For example, Percival has a bottle of Tito's Vodka which wasn't released until 1997.
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Once in the movie, which takes place in November 1989, a speaker on the radio says that refugees from the GDR have only now been allowed to enter the embassy of Czechoslovakia. But that had already happened in the summer and fall of 1989.
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Lorraine arrives at Tempelhof airport in 1989 on a Pan Am flight. That would be impossible, as Pan Am (and other major carriers) moved operations to Otto Lilienthal Airport (Tegel) in 1975.
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Several scenes feature characters wearing Tom Ford sunglasses. The film is set in 1989, long before Tom Ford launched his own fashion and accessories line in 2004.
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When Lorraine is walking through Alexanderplatz to the Kino International, she crosses the road. The Ampelmännchen (traffic light men) aren't the rotund East Berlin style, with a hat, but rather the generic West Berlin style. These wouldn't have existed in East Berlin in 1989.
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The aircraft at the end of the movie that Lorraine boards is a Gulfstream V, which wasn't introduced until 1997.
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When Lorraine Broughton enters Berlin she is given a visa limited to the time necessary to prepare the return of James Gascoigne. She even fakes an application to gain some more days. This might have been necessary in the fifties or sixties. However in 1973 the United Kingdom became part of the EU (or EC at the time). As a citizen of another EU state agent Broughton did not need a visa to enter Germany and she could have stayed indefinitely. In fact, although not impossible, it was quite unlikely in 1989 that custom checks for flights within the EU would have been executed at all.
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When Lorraine is at her hotel room during the Berlin riots, the episode of MTV News: The Week in Rock is the 1989 "Year in Rock" annual review episode, which did not air until a month after the events of the film.
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When Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) emerges on to the streets of London at the start of the film, the very distinctive Portcullis House (a black building with numerous faux industrial chimneys on the roof) is clearly visible next to Big Ben. This building was built between 1992 and 2001, long after the events of Atomic Blonde from 1989.
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Right before Perceval kills Yuri you see stacks of $100 US bills. These are the 1996 redesigned bill. The story takes place in 1989.
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The British Berlin agent says "You do the math." A Brit would say "maths", and the Americansim would not have been used by a Brit who had lived in Berlin for 10 years during the Cold War.
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David drives a Porsche 911 (aka 964) can been seen with the Cup 1 wheels, which was not available until 1991 when all 964s, at the time of the film's setting, was sold with standard D90 wheels.
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When Lorraine goes to Percival's apartment, the camera pans over his bookshelf, prominently showing Machiavelli's, The Prince. But the edition shown is the Codevilla translation from Yale, which wasn't published until 1997.
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Marlboro cigarettes are smoked through at the film. In several scenes, these are clearly modern cigarettes with the word Marlboro clearly printed on the filter (introduced in 2015).
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At 33:10 into the film the Brandenburg Gate is seen, with the Iron Cross and the eagle clearly visible on the Quadriga. However, these were not restored to their places until after the German reunification.
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When Lorraine's passport is examined, the colour of the cover is burgundy. Although the old blue UK passports had started to be replaced with the burgundy versions in 1989, the photo and personalised information are shown as if from the older blue passport.
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Since the film Stalker by Andrey Tarkovskiy was a production of the Soviet Union it was released in the GDR in 1981. However since it was not regarded as close to party principles, its release was limited and it had been locked away quickly. Therefore there was no chance that it could be shown in the exemplary "Kino International" seven years later.
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James McAvoy's character, David Percival, drives a Porsche 911 Turbo (given by the distinctive spoiler) which was not available until March 1990, months after the setting of the film, given by the number of 964 parts in the car including bumpers.
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Vehicles that did not yet exist in 1989 can be seen in the background and in establishing shots throughout the film.
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At the beginning of the film, Opel Calibra is partially visible. This model was introduced in the fall of 1989 and went on sale in the summer of 1990.
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During the fight scene in the apartment building, Broughton fights using the Centre Axis Relock technique, almost 20 years before it came into use. She also holds her pistol in a CAR position repeatedly.
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When Lorraine arrives at Tempelhof she and some other passengers are using trolley suitcases. These weren't available yet in 1989.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Delphine is strangled listening to Til Tuesday's Voices Carry on her Sony Discman, the sound would never keep playing on such units since the anti-shock technologies only arrived on the early/mid '90s. On an early unit such as shown in the movie, the track was supposed to keep skipping until she was totally static.
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Character error 

Lorraine Broughton mentions that she met the group of KGB agents near "Palast der Republik". The place they really met was the cinema (as seen in the movie) "Kino International" more than 1.2km/0.75 miles away from the former "Palast der Republik". Since the "Kino International" ("Cinema International") was a famous one, every local would know exactly where that was.
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At about 1:35 when Broughton is being questioned by C and the CIA man, both men are shown with striped ties. Both ties have the stripes going the same way, top right to bottom left. However British ties go from top left to bottom right. It is unlikely that the head of MI6 would wear an American tie.
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Continuity 

When the KGB thug starts the music, the PLAY button on the boombox stays depressed, as is normal for a cassette player from the period. However, when he smashes the boombox minutes later, the PLAY button is no longer depressed although the music is still playing.
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Outside the airplane, it's pouring, yet Lorraine is completely dry.
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When James is hit by the car, the top of back window of the van in front of him is broken. However, in ensuing shots, the window randomly changes from intact to broken to missing completely.
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The bruises on Lorraine's face change throughout her interrogation. During an interrogation, bruises wouldn't change/heal. Also, the injuries that she sustains in the multiple fights, don't match the bruises during interrogation.
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When the guy is hit in the face with the skateboard, the blood doesn't splatter until a half second later.
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Gasciogne is hit twice with a car, the second time even trapped between the Mercedes and the VW bus. Yet his legs show no sign of injury.
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When Lorraine and Spyglass are being car-chased, the bullet-holes in the windshield change positions between shots.
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During the car chase when Charlize is fighting from the back seat, she has the guy next to her hanging out of the rear door. When you see this from James McAvoy's perspective, the door is closed.
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When Lorraine walks to her London office, the same car, a blue MGB GT, is seen in three different shots, parked twice, then driving past.
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When Lorraine jumps through the window after the fight scenes, the cop with the water hose around his neck is pulled while she is still free falling without pulling the hose.
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Errors in geography 

While acting as Lorraine's tour guide, David points out Brandenburg Gate and then Checkpoint Charlie. The only way to pass the Gate first and the Checkpoint second with them to the right was to drive in EAST Berlin, and not West Berlin where the characters are supposedly driving.
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When agent Broughton changes from Alexanderplatz to the Kino International she just crosses the street. In fact both locations lay over 600 meter away from each other.
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Factual errors 

Near the beginning of the film, when agent Lorraine Broughton is being given her mission briefing after James Gasciogne's death, it is stated he was killed with a Tokarev 7.62 bullet. However, the picture of the casing is not from a 7.62 Tokarev. The 7.62 Tokarev has a very unique shape that distinguishes it from other rounds. While it is very likely that an Eastern European gun would have been used, the casing profile more closely resembles a Makarov 9x18.
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The car sends Gasciogne flying through the air, yet it stops within the length of its hood (less than 5ft/1,5m). It's physically implausible for a car to hit a pedestrian this hard and then stop in such a short distance.
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When splicing tape taken from various sources there is always ambient (background) noise, particularly when recorded outdoors. It would be extremely easy for a spliced conversation to be revealed as such. Even if the spliced conversations were recorded at the same time and the splice is angled, a pro could easily detect the slight difference at the crossover.
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The underground trains shown are definitely not a type that ever has been used in Berlin. In addition they are not yellow. Since 1929 all Berlin buses and underground trains are painted yellow. The trains are correctly tagged with a BVG (Berlin public transport) logo, however a modern one, not in use in the eighties.
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David's Porsche 911 (aka 964) is the US-spec model, given by the pair of rubber bumperettes shown between the bumper-mounted fog lights all 964s are required to have per federal regulations and a lack of amber side markers, for a film set in West Germany. This is unless he shipped it from the United States which would have been highly unlikely for a German car that became available in Europe from August 1988 and not sold in the US until mid-1989.
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In the underground station before entering East-Berlin, West-German custom officers were shown checking papers of travellers into the east. This is wrong in two aspects. First, West-Germany regarded East-Germany as a part of the still existing Germany. Border checks would have given the impression that there are two individual states, something any West-German government (left or right) avoided like a plague. Second, all underground stations that featured a border crossing, were located in East-Berlin. West-Berlin officials would have never been allowed there.
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When agent Broughton enters the a cinema to escape the KGB thugs, it is clearly the Kino International on Karl Marx Allee. However when she enters the auditorium it is definitely another theatre. The auditorium shown ascends quite steep while the International's auditorium ascends smoothly.
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The refrigerator used by Lorraine to smash the bad guy's face during the fight scene is American-sized, it is too large and impractical for many German households in the 1980s.
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No adult can be placed in the frunk (trunk in front, engine in rear) of a Porsche 911 as James McAvoy's character is at the conclusion of the car chase. There is simply no room and it is physically impossible without dismemberment.
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The subway station and wagons depicted in the film is Budapest Metro, not Berliner U-Bahn. The latter has been painted in yellow livery for decades.
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Once in the movie the supposedly German words "Sovietische Handelsmission" ( "Soviet Trade Mission") can be seen. The first of these two words is spelled incorrectly. The correct version is "Sowjetische Handelsmission".
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When Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) emerges on to the streets of London at the start of the film, in the background are the houses of Parliament and the distinctive clock tower across the Thames. The only buildings on the south side of the river at that point are those of St Thomas's Hospital, there are no side streets or roads following the bank of the river.
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Obviously, for a US audience, they used a large British building to represent MI6, but it looks nothing like Century House. Also at 8:47 there is an armed guard on the steps of Century House. There were, and still are, no armed guards at the entrance to MI6. They are all inside.
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The cigarette lighters in the film are supposed to resemble a classic Dunhill design, which close with a clicking sound. But in several scenes the signature Zippo "schwack" sound is heard when the lighters are closed.
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When agent Broughton enters East Berlin she uses a pedestrian-only border crossing. However as a foreigner she had to use a checkpoint for foreigners (Alpha, Bravo or Charlie). The only one in the centre on Berlin was Charlie which was quite large and had several car lanes.
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Before the scene inside the airplane takes place a Gulfstream V is filmed to imply the aircraft that they are on-board. however, this jet wasn't in service until 1997 making it an incorrect production selection.
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The architecture and style of the Gascoigne apartment and building is totally unusual for Berlin. The balcony and staircases appear to be in Budapest or anywhere else than in Berlin. Also cast iron banisters are uncommon in Berlin.
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Miscellaneous 

After the fight in the apartment with the blond thug she gets in a car and takes off. The thug jumps on the hood and she shoots him running him over afterwards. The car does not move as if it just ran over a body. Her escape is blocked and she takes off in reverse. The body is no longer there nor is the black car she shot before and flipped over several times.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

When Lorraine enters the Central Café, the music played in the background is "Der Kommissar", but it is the 2005 version performed by After The Fire, with English lyrics. Considering that the action is set in Berlin in 1989, we should be hearing the 1981 song, performed in German by (Austrian singer) Falco.

Several songs on the soundtrack are remakes, some involving non-original artists, and others are post-1989 edits or remixes. These are presumably deliberate creative choices by the filmmakers and not unintentional anachronisms.
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Revealing mistakes 

David Percival's car is ostensibly a Porsche 911 Turbo but has features indicating it's a replica "Turbo look" car and not an authentic but rare Turbo. The movie car lacks two-piece lower rocker panels (evidenced by the split in the panel below the rear door seam) and has a single tailpipe on the right, not the dual exit exhaust of the real Turbo.
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During the car chase, one of the pursuing cars is t-boned by a truck and flips. There's clearly no actual impact between the two vehicles, and the mortar used to flip the car is plainly visible.
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Early in the movie, the concrete barriers (over which a body is dropped) clearly move and bend like foam props.
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The frunk (front trunk) of the Porsche is clearly a mock-up. It is much bigger than the real thing, and the camera is zoomed out far enough to reveal wooden framing in the top right of the shot; a real Porsche 911 has no wood here.
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A man is playing Tetris; he stands up and walks away from the computer but the Tetris block still moved to the side wall without command or Foley.
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When Lorraine kicks a policeman backwards through a glass table, a puff of smoke from the squib that shatters the table is visible on the left. This was confirmed by the stunt coordinator in a featurette about the stunts in that particular scene.
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When Lorraine is falling down the stairs it's clearly visible that it's the stunt double.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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