CHARLIE'S ANGELS

★★★

A NEW GENERATION OF ANGELS, ANOTHER BARREL OF FUN

THEATRICAL REVIEW
By Chris dos Santos
14th November 2019

McG’s masterworks of 2000s ‘Charlie’s Angels’ and ‘Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle’ are those rare breed of films that could only exist in that decade, and are films that help define the early 2000s. They are wild, ass-kicking, butt-shaking, slowmo-jumping masterpieces that just fill many with joy. While the original 70s show is full of iconic moments, the Lui, Barrymore and Diaz films really cemented the Angels into many hearts and defined a generation. One could objectively call these first films bad, but they just put themselves in a whole other playing field that they instantly jump to dumb fun. Now 2019, and with times having changed, those films wouldn’t fly. Audiences need more "subtense," and the meaning of independent women has changed so - Question: How can you make ‘Charlie’s Angels’ woke? I’ll tell you what I think about that.

Since the events of ‘Full Throttle’, John Bosley (Patrick Stewart, ‘Logan’, ‘The Emoji Movie’) has expanded Charlie’s Angel program internationally, with Bosleys all around the globe with their own teams of Angels. Elena (Naomi Scott, ‘Aladdin’, ‘Power Rangers’) is working on the Calisto project, an Alexia-like object that can be weaponised and has killed a co-worker, but she wants to get justice for their death her boss Peter (Nat Faxon, ‘Sex Tape’, ‘Bad Teacher’) and her CEO, Alexander (Sam Clafin, ‘Me Before You’, ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’) silence her. This leads her to turn to Edgar Bosley (Djimon Hounsou, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, ‘Furious 7’) and plans to whistleblow the company, but when it's revealed that people are out to kill her, former Angel and now Bosley, Susan (Elizabeth Banks, ‘Pitch Perfect’, ‘The Lego Movie’), teams up Sabina (Kristen Stewart, ‘Personal Shopper’, ‘Twilight' Saga) and Jane (Ella Balinska) to protect her and in turn Elena becomes an Angel.

'CHARLIE'S ANGELS' TRAILER 2

In all honesty, this is a seriously fun movie. It has fun action, great comedy and the entire cast is having a blast. Kristen Stewart is absolutely incredible; she nails every comedic beat, and is awesome in the action scenes. Yeah sure, she usually plays people who don’t smile, but so what? She's allowed to have fun, and it’s an absolute blast from start to finish. Naomi Scott is such a sweetheart and oozes charm, and for her first big role, Ella Balinska really kicked ass. Still, Stewart outshines them all - she is just fantastic. I cannot stress how much fun she is.

The film, especially in the first half, is a little forced with its feminism - there's a lot of Elena rolling her eyes at men - but the movie drops this once all the Angels are together and it just becomes three people kicking ass. One of my favourite things about the first two films is the fact that just are three women fighting crime and no one bats an eye. The new film does try to be more ‘Strong Independent Women’, but it’s not cringy or forced outside of the first act.

The movie has a few too many double-crosses and misdirections that just miss the mark. For me, at least, it's easy to identify which person is bad or good, even when the movie wanted you to think the opposite.

The film runs on the longer side and could have been trimmed. It takes a while for the team to be formed. Compared to the other films, this is much more an origin story. It doesn’t just throw you in; it really takes its time to set everything up, and I wish it leaned into the more cheesy pulpy fun of those original films (while it could never get that wild). The film is very grounded, but really shines when it leans more towards the dumb popcorn film fun.

Kristen Stewart is absolutely incredible; she nails every comedic beat, and is awesome in the action scenes. Yeah sure, she usually plays people who don’t smile, but so what? She's allowed to have fun, and it’s an absolute blast from start to finish.

The soundtrack to the film is being very heavily promoted, even with trailers showing the music video - they are pushing this hard, so it’s worth talking about. Not to beat a dead horse, but the lead single ‘Don’t Call Me Angel’ isn’t an instant banger - especially when compared to ‘Independent Woman, Pt. 1’ - however the music Adriana Grande has put together is a nice collection that compliments the film and is catchy, but again to compare it’s a mile off the original films.

Being connected to the original film and TV show, there's some "fixing" and logic jumps to get the movie to where it wants. The whole multiple Bosleys arc gets muddled as they show pictures of Patrick Stewart with both the TV and movie Angels, erasing all previous Bosleys. Outside of the this, there are a few Easter Eggs, but the film has very little to do with either property. It could easily stand on its own without having any connection to previous Angels.

2019's ‘Charlie’s Angels’ is a fun watch with a great cast, especially a scene-stealing Kristen Stewart (she has a dance number and I need her in a ‘Step Up’ movie ASAP). I really hope this does well, as there is huge potential for sequels exploring all these new Angels. If you like pure joy, I highly recommend checking it out on the big screen.

Originally I had this at a three-star review, but in all honesty it was just such a refreshing blast in the drab landscape of 2019. It’s been a while since I’ve outright had so much fun, and every once in awhile it's nice to just kick back and enjoy.

"Now that’s kicking your ass!"

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