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‘Charlie’s Angels’ review: Dir. Elizabeth Banks (2019)

Charlie’s Angels review: Elizabeth Banks unites the likes of Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska and Naomi Scott as her new avenging angels in the reboot/ sequel to McG’s ’90s redo.

Charlie's Angels review

Ella Balinska, Kristen Stewart and Naomi Scott star in Charlie’s Angels. Image: Sony Pictures

We sadly live in a time where big-budgeted nostalgia pieces are all the rage. With the likes of Bad Boys For Life a month or so away, and plans for a fourth Beverly Hills Cop movie to roll into production soon, ’80s and ’90s reboots and sequels are a big trend but with Charlie’s Angels, actually based on a ’60s television series, was this one on a long list that the world really needed or indeed wanted?

The film is essentially an origin story for a new trio of Angels, made up of Kristen Stewart’s Sabina, Ella Balinska’s Jane and eventually Naomi Scott’s Elena. The latter works for a high-tech technology company in Hamburg, their prize-product, an Alexa-type electricity-producing device that can actually be weaponised and used for alternative means. Of course, bad people want to get their hands on the device and sell it to the highest bidder and employees within the company – everyone from Nat Faxon’s middle-manager Peter Fleming to Sam Claflin’s company owner, Alexander Brock, seemingly have some kind of ulterior motives in terms of the use of their gleaming new product.

Of course, the Angels are on hand to save the day after Edgar Bosely (Djimon Hounsou) gets information passed to him about the new product and its dangerous capabilities. What follows in nearly two hours of high octane explosive carnage full of espionage, double-crosses and arse-kicking that one should expect from this kind of premise.

Related: Watch the trailer for the brand new Charlie’s Angels movie

Some earlier reviews have been a little unfair to this new installment in the Charlie’s Angels series as there is some good stuff to come out of it. The three actors at the center of the plot, particularly Stewart, bring something new to proceedings and are actually quite fun to watch. There are also some nice ideas – like the fact that Bosely is now not a person but a rank – a kinda 007 if you will with Bosely 001 devilishly played by the one and only Sir Patrick Stewart, and Banks herself also as a Bosely, a former Angel and handler of Sabina, Jane, and Elena. There are a couple of nice, subtle nods to the films and series’ that have come before during the early scenes and some lovely cameos right at the very end.

‘Charlie’s Angels 2020’, as nobody is calling it, has the wanting of a Bourne adventure crossed with the fun, comedic aspects of an ‘Oceans’ movie, but a lot of it comes across as cliche, from the pantomime villainry to the bad jokes and cartoonish action. There are far too many double-crosses for my liking too, the very simple plot often made over-complicated in more ways than one. Everyone is having a blast, though, it’s just a shame that a lot of the fun didn’t transfer to the auditorium. Some of the characters are wasted and opportunities missed and the ending was, for me, rather unsatisfying too.

Not as terrible as you may have heard but it’s hard not to walk away from the movie feeling empty and unfulfilled. A bit of a misfire, sadly.

Charlie’s Angels is in cinemas from Friday 29th November.


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