When someone says someone else fights like a girl, it’s intended as a diss with a nice dollop of misogyny on top. But the next time some jerk comes at you wth that nonsense, you can turn it into a compliment by yelling, “Oh yeah, well Charlize Theron does all her own stunts and could snap your spine in half like a pretzel rod, so there!” and run away weeping. In the light of a new behind-the-scenes video from the Atomic Blonde production, it is the ultimate comeback. For Charlize Theron does indeed fight like the girl (er, woman) she is, and that’s one hell of a way to fight.

In the newly revealed featurette, Theron shows off the brutally demanding training that prepared her for her role as a sexy espionage agent and inveterate bone-crusher in Atomic Blonde. Director David Leitch puts it frankly: “She’s in the top percentile of actors who do their own action. She’s f---ing bad-ass.” Theron then amply proves that as she punches, kicks, spin-kicks, jump-kicks — whole lot of kicking in this movie, it turns out — her way through pre-fall Berlin. Theron makes an astute observation about what separates her latest project from other action movies, specifically noting that she really tried to express the hurt that would come from each blow. When she’s thrown up against a wall, she doesn’t take it with a stiff upper lip; she’s human, and she grunts in pain just like anyone.

Atomic Blonde will punch its way into theaters on July 28, at which point national karate enrollment rates for young girls will, I assume, skyrocket. God save Atomic Blonde, and that’s an official ScreenCrush-endorsed take.

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