Charlie’s Angels (2019) – Review, Summary (with Spoilers)

57.36% (1)

The new Charlie’s Angels is strong enough to revive the franchise but definitely needs some tweaks when it returns.


Director(s) Elizabeth Banks
Screenplay By Elizabeth Banks
Date Released (Theatrical) 11/14/2019
Genre(s) Action, Comedy, Adventure
Good If You Like
  • Female Focused Action Adventures
  • Strong Relationships Between Women
  • Women Taking On Men, And Whooping Their Ass
  • Female Action Stars Who Aren’t Stripped Of Their Femininity
Noted Cast
John Bosley Patrick Stewart
Rebecca Bosley Elizabeth Banks
Sabina Kristen Stewart
Jane Ella Balinska
Edgar Djimon Hounsou
Elena Naomi Scott
Peter Fleming Nat Faxon
Alexander Brok Sam Claflin
Langston Noah Centineo
Hodak Jonathan Tucker
Ralph David Schütter
Bomb Instructor Laverne Cox
Fighting Instructor Rhonda Rousey
Kelly Garrett Jaclyn Smith
Angel Recruit Hailee Steinfeld
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Plot Summary/ Review

In the newest iteration of Charlie’s Angels, the Townsend Agency has gone international, and thanks to John Bosley, who is treated as the Bosley of the TV show and original dilogy angels, everything seems to be running smoothly after 40 years of work. Which naturally makes his retirement a sad but celebrated occasion. One that the first angel to become a Bosley, Rebecca, makes sure is treated as a big deal. Especially as she takes over for some of the angels who reported to him.

Said angels are Sabina, an heiress who was a delinquent before becoming an angel, as well as Jane, who was trained in Europe by Edgar Bosley and is former MI:6. One of their first jobs as a newly formed team is working with Elena, your usual top of her class scientist, who created an energy generator known as “Calisto.” Which, in the wrong hands, could become a weapon, and between Elena’s boss Peter Fleming and Alexander Brok, Elena fears the worse, and that is when the Townsend Agency is called, and our journey begins.

Other Noteworthy Facts, Moments and Commentary

  • Calisto, as a weapon, can be used as an EMP, which would affect people’s nervous system and give them an aneurysm.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Are they planning to reveal Charlie is now a woman, and is that woman Cameron Diaz? Even if she hasn’t worked since 2014?

Highlights

Kristen Stewart’s Fight Scenes

In the press run for this movie, Stewart notes she actually did her own stunts, to the best of her ability/ what she was allowed, and it shows. When it comes to her scenes, you can see the excitement of whooping a man’s ass, and while action scenes are usually sped up, there is something about the way she handles things which doesn’t always seem like movie magic. Making it so, when you see bruising and stuff like that, you’re left if that is special effects or from her really getting into the scene and taking these men on.

Noah Centineo Is Such A Good Love Interest

This is such a minor thing, since he is barely in this movie, yet I must note this man has the kind of charm which makes it so, in the less than 5 scenes he has, two of which are with Balinska’s character, you are already shipping them and hoping for a wedding.

While Not Hilarious, It’s Comical

Between jokes dealing with Rebecca’s age, Elena not being ready to handle what it means to hang with the angels, or just Stewart’s sarcasm being used to make her funny, this film will make you laugh. Mind you, not to the level of the Lucy Liu dilogy, for there are still kinks to work out. However, in a second or third movie, with the humor of each actor harnessed better and how they can play off one another, this could very well become hilarious.

The Way Women Are Portrayed

A paraphrase I often use, from either Stewart or Michelle Rodriguez, deals with the idea that what sucks about a lot of action films is that the roles women play often seem like they are written for men. Charlie’s Angels, both this one and in the past, sidestep that criticism for we’re allowed to see the women be three-dimensional people.

For example, in one of the few occasions when someone dying isn’t written off, we see the women allowed to be emotional. Also, as much as these women can kick ass, shoot up a place, and survive explosions, it doesn’t mean some things seen as traditionally feminine they aren’t into. It’s that balance, which includes Jane getting all school girl around Langston, Centineo’s character, which helps you appreciate how things are evolving. Because now women don’t have to strip themselves of their femininity or be modeled as something for the male audience to gawk at. Instead, they can just be women well trained at what they do, and who haven’t had to treat feelings and desires of their gender as a weakness to suppress.

On The Fence

Balinska’s Fight Scenes Can Be A Bit Stiff

While Balinska’s fighting wasn’t that of a botched WWE match, there was definitely something about it that seemed off. Now, I can’t say if she did her own stunts, but the way her fights with a villain named Hodak went, it definitely seemed far more choreographed and less fluid than many of Stewart’s scenes.

How The Film Handles “Collateral Damage”

People die or are hurt in this film, and while you have to appreciate the movie acknowledging it, the way it is just hunched off pushes you to realize the angels are low-key psychopaths. Especially since one man, Ralph, wasn’t the henchman for some villain, in a traditional sense. He was just a security guard doing his job and while, yes, like 90% of the men in Charlie’s Angels, he has this vibe of being a sexist, the way him being hurt, possibly killed, is shrugged off pushes you to remember these people work for a private company. One that may not encourage revenge, but has no issue with its private military harming private citizens, possibly killing them, with an air of indifference.

Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Really, the only issues I think someone can have with this are that most of the men exhibit sexist behavior, the fighting can come off a bit stiff sometimes, and if you have the Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and Drew Barrymore version at the forefront of your brain, you may think this is a less fun movie. Yet, with it nearly being two decades since they were the faces of the franchise, it’s like expecting Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman to be the same as Gal Gadot’s. It’s a new generation, a new team, and while the formula is similar, it isn’t the same.

Leading to why the positive label. The 2019 version of Charlie’s Angels proves why this is a franchise that has lasted a little more than 40 years. For with the right talent, it is an easy success to replicate and with Banks holding the reins, she has truly shown herself to be one of the best directors in modern times. Especially when it comes to films which seek to entertain audiences.

 

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