CHARLIE’S ANGELS (2019) – Film Review

When a systems engineer blows the whistle on a dangerous technology, Charlie’s Angels from across the globe consisting of Sabina Wilson (Kristen Stewart), Elena Houghlin (Naomi Scott), and Jane Kano (Ella Balinska) are called into action, putting their lives on the line to protect society.

Fans of the original Charlie’s Angels television series that ran from 1976 to 1981, as well as fans of the 2000 McG directed film of the same title should go into this new Elizabeth Banks-directed reboot knowing one thing – this is an extremely silly movie.

But the people that do enjoy those aforementioned titles probably already knew that this was going to be a silly movie – it’s just that general audiences may not be aware of this. Charlie’s Angels is not supposed to be in the same vein as blockbuster franchises such as the James Bond 007 franchise or the Mission: Impossible one. If I had to compare this film to an already existing film, it would easily be 2018’s Oceans 8.

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From left to right: Kristen Stewart as Sabina Wilson, Ella Balinska as Jane Kano, and Naomi Scott as Elena Houghlin in Charlie’s Angels (2019)

That was a movie that I overall enjoyed, but it most certainly had its fair share of issues and was far from perfect. While Charlie’s Angels can feel a bit uneven at times and suffers from issues, it ends up culmunating in a feel-good, exciting and charming flick that will win over audiences all over, as long as they go into it with the right mindset.

Let’s get the issues with Charlie’s Angels right out of the gate. The first act of this film is extremely slow and rocky. For a while, I was genuinely concerned that the movie would never get better because for the first little bit, not a whole lot of interest happens. It mostly consists of shots of city skylines and fast cars driving around in various locations with the music of artists like Ariana Grande and Normani playing in the background. For some, this will make for some fun moments and will be enjoyable to listen to. But for me, these scenes just seemed out of place, at least for a while. It took me a while to embrace this film’s overall tone.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a few things that happen in the first act, but besides maybe one or two incidents, it is mainly dull. Gratefully, the second and third acts improve greatly and it eventually becomes a highly fun, adventurous and witty experience that I enjoyed.

The writing is also something that I was a bit iffy of for some portions of the picture. Sometimes, these characters say things that just sound too corny, even if the source material itself is goofy. The movie never takes itself too seriously which can be both a positive and a negative, strangely.

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From left to right: Kristen Stewart as Sabina Wilson, Ella Balinska as Jane Kano, and Naomi Scott as Elena Houghlin in Charlie’s Angels (2019)

But let’s talk about the Angels themselves – Stewart, Scott, and Balinska. They are absolutely terrific here thankfully. These are my personal favorite interpretations of the Angels on screen so far. The chemistry that they all have together feels so genuine and not like they are acting. It actually felt like I was watching a group of three women who have been friends together their whole lives do crazy things together.

One of the best aspects of the Angels themselves is the fact that they have banter with each other too. They do not always get along with each other one hundred percent of the time, and to see their conversations on certain situations was much needed and highly entertaining. In fact, I actually kind of wish that we saw more scenes of the Angels just talking to one another. Who knows? Maybe if this film performs well enough at the box office, we will actually get a sequel. A sequel that I feel would be warranted and one that I want.

Despite a bumpy first act, and an occasionally dull script, there’s no denying Charlie’s Angels is a highly entertaining, adventurous, and funny time at the movies.

Overall Grade: B-

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for action/violence, language and some suggestive material

Cast: Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska, Elizabeth Banks, Djimon Hounsou, Sam Claflin, Noah Centineo, Patrick Stewart

Directed by: Elizabeth Banks

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Releasing

Running Time: 119 minutes

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