“Charlie’s Angels” is one of the strongest cultural milestones to stand the test of time. Originally a 1976 TV story of three private investigators working for a boss via speakerphone, this series has been adapted into two films in the 2000s directed by McG and a short-lived reboot in 2011. Elizabeth Banks takes the helm as director, writer, producer, and stars in this latest foray on the silver screen for the Angels.
The movie follows Sabina (Kristen Stewart) and Jane (Ella Balinska), two angels for the Townsend Agency. They’re latest assignment has them help scientist Elena (Naomi Scott), a programmer for tech entrepreneur Alexander Bosk (Sam Claflin). After revealing a deal on an innovative energy source that has the risk of being weaponized, she is hunted down by a hitman contracted by her old superior, Peter Fleming (Nat Faxon). With the help of handler Bosley (Elizabeth Banks), the Angels and Elena try to crack down on the deal.
The cast does a solid job. Balinska and Scott do a solid job and present themselves as the badass agents that make up the Angels. But among the girls, no one seems like their having more fun than Stewart. Gone are the days of monotonous performances in the “Twilight” saga, and here she is having the time of her life. Stewart’s character has an attitude of someone who gives it all for the job but is not afraid to goof off every now and then. And the solid performances don’t stop at the Angels. Banks is both cool-headed and on fire as the first Angel who was appointed to the rank of Bosley. Patrick Stewart not only shines as the original John Bosley but leaves the audiences on edge in the final act.
When watching this movie, I appreciated how the “Charlie’s Angels” mythos. The movie takes the idea of Bosley and the Angels and brings it international. Bosley has gone from being a person to be a rank within the Townsend Agency, like how M became a rank in the recent James Bond movies. While the story has a simple chase the McGuffin storyline, there’s a twist in the third that makes the final action sequence more interesting.
The action sequences have a fluidity that moves with the characters and is complimented with good fight choreography. Each of the characters have signature styles to their fighting. Jane’s fighting is calculated to match her previous time in MI6, Elena’s resembles a rookie fighter, and Sabina mixes lethality with fun. One of the best action sequences that highlights the synchronized style of the Angels is the quarry scene in the film. Starting off with a heel turn in the story, each of the Angels’ fighting is a dynamic dance that never rests and leaves the audience on edge.
The movie brings the 70s classic alive for contemporary audiences with a solid cast and brilliant action sequences. Each of the changes to the fictional Townsend Agency makes it feel like what MI6 is in the Bond movies. If you’re in the mood for a movie to make your Girl’s Night Out a blast, this is definitely a good choice.