3 out of 5 stars (average)
The trailers for Charlie’s Angels are misrepresenting it. Watching the trailer, you get the impression that it will be yet another self-congratulatory continuation (not a reboot) with a minimal plot that revels in its perceived greatness. Thankfully, the movie itself is none of those things, updating its source material for modern times by being fun, clever, and empowering to anyone without pushing any forced agendas. Charlie’s Angels has a license to entertain with a great cast, consistent humor, and fun action to complement its surprising solid story.
Elena (Naomi Scott, Aladdin) is an under-appreciated software engineer who recognizes a flaw in her company’s newest piece of technology that would allow it to be weaponized. After her oafish superior (Nat Faxon) ignores her complaint, she is contacted by the Townsend Agency, an organization of female spies (codenamed “Angels”) who seek to help her fix the problem. However, someone in the company doesn’t want the beans spilled and will kill Elena to do it. Now teamed with agents Sabina (a livewire Kristen Stewart), Jane (Newcomer Ella Balinska) and handler Bosley (Elizabeth Banks), the quartet must get ahold of the technology before it falls into the wrong hands.
Charlie’s Angels is a blast. Writer/director Elizabeth Banks (the first female director of an Angels movie) humanizes her heroines and never objectifies them. The leads prove their action and comedy chops, the story is solid, and the empowerment message succeeds. The action is well-staged and engaging, each sequence going bigger than the last without making the characters invincible. Our heroines can take hits just as well as they give them, and the knowledge they can be hurt provides good intensity. While some may miss the cheesiness of earlier installments, I found it refreshing to see the mission and characters taken slightly more seriously while still knowing when to be funny.
Charlie’s Angels reinvigorates the franchise with humor, thrills, and empowerment for all. I would gladly go on another mission with these Angels, but if this is the only one, at least Charlie’s Angels went all in and gave us a great time. Please See it.
Rated PG-13 for Action/Violence, Language, and Some Suggestive Material