“Charlie’s Angels” stars Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska, Elizabeth Banks, Djimon Hounsou, and Patrick Stewart. Released on November 15, 2019, the film has a new team of Angels saving the world from a dangerous threat.
The film is directed by Elizabeth Banks, who also directed “Pitch Perfect 2”. It is the third installment in the “Charlie’s Angels” film series, which is based on the 1976 television series of the same name created by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts. Have any of you enjoyed “Charlie’s Angels”, a show that involves a group of women kicking some bad guy butt? If you answered yes, then you’re in luck, because we got ourselves another film based on the show. The good news about that is that it’s not a reboot. The bad news is that it doesn’t have Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu reprising their roles from the last two films. Instead, we have the likes of Bella Swan, Princess Jasmine, and…the new girl who I’m not familiar with. I don’t have that much experience with “Charlie’s Angels”, although from what I heard about the concept, I would like to get into it someday. I am, however, familiar with the films that are based on the show: “Charlie’s Angels” in 2000 and its 2003 sequel, “Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle”. I haven’t watched any of them all the way through, but I have seen parts of them and based on what I saw, they’re pretty entertaining. So I was hoping that this film will offer the same amount of entertainment as the last two installments. Elizabeth Banks had plenty of shoes to fill as she was given the task to deliver both a fun and action-packed comedy and a decent reintroduction of the franchise. Was she able to succeed?
The film revolves around the Townsend Agency, a secret global organization that consists of female agents known as “Angels”. They are tasked to protect the world from the forces of evil with the use of girl power and their set of skills. Their latest mission involves Elena Houghlin (Scott), a programmer who’s involved with a project that is invented by the company she’s working for. After discovering that they’re covering up a dangerous flaw in the device that could threaten the entire human race, Elena teams up with Angels Sabina Wilson (Stewart) and Jane Kano (Balinska) to put an end to the company’s foul deed for good. This is another film in a specific franchise that attempts to “spice things up” a bit in order to lure in newcomers as well as people who grew up watching the previous installments. As I mentioned before, instead of giving itself a “reboot” makeover, the 2019 version of “Charlie’s Angels” continues the story arc that was introduced in the television series and the two film adaptations, similar to what “Men in Black: International” did back in June. Even though it doesn’t always work well for certain fans, I still appreciate the idea of expanding the franchise’s world instead of hitting the reset button because it gives filmmakers creative freedom to tell their own stories that are set in that universe…as long as they put in some easter eggs and references from the past installments in that franchise in the process. Unsurprisingly, “Charlie’s Angels” fits the bill as it has everything it needed to reintroduce something that was popular in the past, but does that make it a good film? Not really, but I had fun watching it regardless. This isn’t the type of film that you go in expecting something like “John Wick” or “The Godfather”. It’s something that you go in to escape from the harsh reality and just enjoy yourself. There are other films that offer that same type of enjoyment, but some of them often turn out to be pretty bland when it comes to the execution, with “Men in Black: International” being one of them. “Charlie’s Angels” has most of the qualities of being a highly entertaining film, like the cast and the action. The three main actresses (Stewart, Scott, and Balinska) were pretty solid in their roles and the chemistry between them has plenty of suitable moments that made me want to join in on the action. Kristen Stewart has the type of role that allows her to express her fun side compared to her starring in some serious indie dramas, and I thought she played the role quite well in terms of her sense of humor. It’s not a perfect performance from her, but I’m glad that she’s still making herself known outside of her role in the “Twilight” films. Newcomer Ella Balinska also did a good job with her performance as Jane, another member of the Angels, despite her character being a bit formulaic. Elizabeth Banks expressed her acting talent once again as Rebekah Bosley, and Patrick Stewart had a splendidly good time portraying John Bosley. As both an actress and a director, Elizabeth Banks has that specific spark that drives her films with energy and charm, which are the things that made her last directorial effort, “Pitch Perfect 2”, a decent hit for me. There are still a few things that she could improve on in the near future, but other than that, Banks is turning out to be a suitable director for female-led films. There were also some action sequences that were fun and energetic to watch. They’re not entirely immersive and the editing for one of those sequences was a bit choppy, but they did their part in providing some popcorn entertainment. As for its flaws, the film’s plot can come off as corny and predictable and the characters didn’t have enough depth to pull off some unexpected emotional punches, but if you don’t care about any of that stuff and just want to be entertained by the action and the three main actresses, you’ll be fine watching this. There’s also this one moment that I think might rub some fans the wrong way. I’m not saying what happens because I don’t do spoilers. Let’s just say that it reminded me of the direction they took for “Terminator Genisys”.
Overall, Elizabeth Banks’ take on “Charlie’s Angels” suffers from a few setbacks in its mission to deliver a satisfying reintroduction of the franchise, but it has enough skills to provide some watchable popcorn entertainment. Despite its flawed plot and its lack of strong character depth, the film’s cast, the action, and Banks’ direction were able to prevent it from being a total bust. Like the other installments in specific franchises like “Men in Black” and “Terminator”, the film might not impress every fan of “Charlie’s Angels”, but if you’re looking for a fun, action-packed girls night out film, this one should be able to fit your needs.