Cast: Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska, Elizabeth Banks
Director: Elizabeth Banks
I really have no idea what to make of Charlie’s Angels. On one hand, there aren’t too many action-comedies that are lead by a female-majority cast, so it’s nice to see that pop up from time to time. On the other hand, it’s more or less just as dumb and generic as every other dumb male-lead action-comedies, so it makes sense that this movie flopped as bad as it did. I know it’s based off an existing series and franchise, but you have to do something to stand out and show that you aren’t making something mediocre. Dull, uninspired, and a drag for 119 minutes, Charlie’s Angels is the true “who cares” movie of November that will go away as soon as it came.
The film follows Elena (Scott), an engineer who is working on a new power source, but realizes her company is covering up the potentially deadly side effects if the power is weaponized. When Elena is thrown into conflict surrounding the power source, she is rescued by Sabina (Stewart) and Jane (Balinska), two Angels in Charlie’s Angels; an international group of women agents who protect the world from various crimes. Together, the three work together to get the power source back and stop these terrorists from hurting any more people. As you might be able to infer from that description, this is a cookie-cutter, generic action movie regardless of who is in it and who directed it. Every genre is littered with them to some degree, but at the same time that’s no excuse for this level of mediocrity. I wish for movies like this to bomb regardless of the cast and crew just because there has to be a better way Columbia to spend their money. When people complain about movies like Transformers or Fast & Furious, it because it’s the same type of movie over and over again and that’s time for something new in the genre. The one redeeming factor of this movie is the chemistry between the three leads keeps this movie average and prevents it from really falling off a cliff. The three young women are clearly having a fun time in their roles and like each other enough where their interactions feel genuine. It’s definitely a big commercial year for Scott between the major roles in this and Aladdin and I’m very curious to see where she goes from here. With a cast this big on paper, I would be very surprised if anyone outside of the top three were given any breathing room, but Banks does a good job of balancing the cast in the context of the rest of the movie. Ultimately, Charlie’s Angels isn’t that bad and it’s far from the worst option you can pick from if you’re looking to stream something. I think Charlie’s Angels is the type of movie that will get a second like on television and will end up on a channel like TNT to serve as background noise while you’re doing something a little more productive with your time.
Overall, Charlie’s Angels refuses to raise the bar for action movies, and the free pass is definitely starting to wear thin. I’m next expecting every action movie to be John Wick, but at least but a little bit of thought and effort into your movies instead of just rehashing the same old movie time and time again. There’s a lot of talent in this movie from top to bottom and I have a strange feeling Columbia stepped in and prevented any real progress from getting done on this movie. Whatever the case was, there was an opportunity to really add something new to the franchise with Charlie’s Angels and that opportunity was wasted.
Overall Score: 5/10