Review

The ‘Charlie’s Angels’ Not-Reboot Is Not-That-Bad

Charlie's_AngelsAnd so the “sequel that acts as a soft reboot” trend continues.

“Charlie’s Angels” is the latest installment in the titular spy franchise which began with the 1970s TV series followed by the two films in the early 2000s. This rendition stars Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska as the three new Angels, alongside Elizabeth Banks, Djimon Hounson, Sam Claflin, Noah Centineo and Patrick Stewart. Banks also directs and wrote the screenplay.

This is one of those films, one of those reviews, where it is just a light watch and there’s nothing wrong with that. The three main Angels, Stewart, Scott and Balinska, all have a nice energy about them, and Stewart, returning to studio tentpoles after a stint in the indie world, continues to show that she is capable of succeeding in any genre. Not all of her jokes land, and sometimes Banks’ script has her make these bad quips at the wrong time or on the wrong beat, but Stewart seems to be having a ball and manages to produce a few solid chuckles with her animated movement.

The action sequences are a bit of a mixed bag, as some of them are fun and seem like they were choreographed well, and have catchy songs overlaid. However the editing is so quick (like a cut a second) and the camera is held so close to the actors that it is hard to tell what is going on. I don’t get why movies do this, like why rehearse a fight scene if it’s just going to come across as random chaos, but that’s been a problem for a while so can’t expect this to be the last time we see it.

The plot is, serviceable. It is your classic “we have to find out who is trying to buy this new weapon before it’s too late” storyline, and the few twists that do come into play are pretty predictable. As I touched on with Stewart, Elizabeth Banks’ script (and she also produced, so all flaws on this project truly fall on her shoulders) feels lazy at times, many of the jokes are obvious or dialogue full of exposition (at one point a character explains a plot point we just learned to another, just to ensure the audience caught it).

“Charlie’s Angels” is perfectly sufficient entertainment, although the action is scattershot and the humor only lands every now and again. Based on the reactions from my audience I’m guessing there are Easter eggs sprinkled in for fans of the previous installments, and if you thought the trailers looked fun then I’m sure you’ll get exactly what you want out of this.

Critics Rating: 6/10

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

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