charlies angels

Stars: 4.5/5

“Charlie’s Angels” is a tried and tested formula. It has everything an audience could want— powerful women, espionage and just the right amount of campy comedy. It’s a fool-proof system, and Elizabeth Banks’ take gives it even more shine.

The new “Charlie’s Angels” follows the story of a systems engineer (Ella Balinska), her whistleblowing on a dangerous technology she helped develop and her subsequent adoption into the Angels.

It’s a story jam-packed with a powerful female cast featuring the likes of Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Banks herself and an even more powerful script. The story is complex but understandable and funny without leaning too far into it. The result is an action-comedy that was light and refreshing while still maintaining a core.

To be completely honest, I walked into the theatre expecting the worst. It seemed like an entertaining movie, but the constant stream of reboots in cinema is getting exhausting. From the outside, it seems like an unnecessary movie, but I was quickly proven wrong.

The whole aesthetic of the “Charlie’s Angels” franchise is its cheesiness, but until now, it was a male-dominated crew of writers and directors in control. It’s now a movie about women, for women, by women, and the cheesy humor leans more into relatability than the stereotypical sexy spy woman.

Another plus of a female crew is the added depth of the Angels. Instead of just being agents, they have back stories and multidimensional personalities. They’re interesting characters, not just pawns of the anonymous Charlie.

The actors involved also did their parts in creating these personas. Kristen Stewart delivered as the rebellious and hilarious Sabina, separating her identity even further from the deadpan Bella Swan in “Twilight."

Naomi Scott was also hilarious, playing the role of the frazzled engineer so convincingly I wanted to give her a paper bag to breathe into. As the movie went on, her character found her footing and grew in confidence in each scene. 

My only critiques for the film were the somewhat unsatisfying ending (no spoilers, though) and the occasional awkwardness of the feminist message. It’s obvious that the movie is very pro-woman, but sometimes the girl-power moments felt forced. At the beginning of the movie there was even a montage of Girls Doing Cool Things that felt straight out of a Tampax commercial.

Even then,“Charlie’s Angels” was a great movie. The acting was great, the message was powerful and the script was fun. Now I’m just left to figure out if I really want to be a spy or if I just want some more female friends.

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