Charlie's Angels

2 out of 5 stars
2 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
Charlie's Angels
Photo: Nadja Klier/Sony Pictures

Time Out says

2 out of 5 stars

No one was clamouring for a reboot, and this one is uncomfortable in its own skin

Invented by men as pure escapism, the original Charlie’s Angels TV show had sexism baked into its concept: three gorgeous female private investigators, each with her own hair colour. That’s it. Correcting this pitch – whatever that might entail – seems like a fool’s errand, so it’s excruciating to watch Elizabeth Banks, as sharp a comedian as Hollywood has, be that fool. Serving as screenwriter and director for this forgettable reboot, Banks somewhat dials back the butt-ogling goofiness of McG’s 2000 and 2003 entries (both films play like borderline-offensive relics now), turning Bosley into a generalised rank, not a boss, and playing the role herself. She also has kohl-eyed cypher Kristen Stewart as the newly invented spy Sabina, whose scowl can either be interpreted as complex toughness or the actor taking a mental note: Must have talk with agent.

For all of its #MeToo heavy lifting, though, the film still doesn’t work, mainly for the same reasons as before. Constructed as symbols (not human beings), these characters have too much spy stuff to do and yet, not quite enough. Naturally, we get two other angels, just to keep the IP lawyers happy – neither Naomi Scott nor Ella Balinska make much of an impression – and the trio chases down a clean-energy MacGuffin while doing battle with a procession of sexist pigs. (Come back, Crispin Glover, all is forgiven.) Action scenes are chopped into a dizzying mush, impossible to follow. The movie’s most fun moment is too brief: Stewart and Balinska hit the dance floor to unleash some choreographed posing to a squelchy pumped-up remix of Donna Summer’s 'Bad Girls', after which they commandeer the party’s photo booth for a limb-entangled series of snaps. It’s both millennial and ironically close to the 1976 game plan.

Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf


Release details

Release date:
Thursday November 14 2019
119 mins

Cast and crew

Elizabeth Banks
Elizabeth Banks
Elizabeth Banks
Kristen Stewart
Naomi Scott
Ella Balinska
Patrick Stewart

Users say (1)

2 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

2 / 5

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1 person listening

This new third attempt is an improvement from the first two with a different cast. This one tries to work as a humour ridden spy movie globe-trotting around the world. Patrick Stewart is Jim Phelps from Brian De Palma's first Mission:Impossible. It has non-stop action with little breathing time in between. A lot of Hollyweird gender politics and diversity. Still this movie could have been written by a computer with no real personality. Borrows a lot of twists and turns from other films in this genre. Some of the acting becomes awkward and cringe-inducing. Still it has good pacing.