Charlie’s Angels (2019) by Elizabeth Banks

I remember watching the original Charlie’s Angels as a teenager and loving it. I’m sure seeing three unique and diverse women work together and kickass left an impression on me. That said, I was not looking forward to this new sequel as the trailer didn’t really hook me. Nevertheless, Kristen Stewart seems to be having a comeback and I was curious to see how this film would play out.

The first time I started watching it, I gave up ten minutes in because the exposition was too heavy and I didn’t care for it. I came back to it cause I was bored and wanted to watch some mindless action and figured this was a safe bet. And it was.

Charlie’s Angels delivers on the comedy and witty banter front. It even manages to have above average action scenes that are in general entertaining to watch. If Mission Impossible is a 10/10 then Angels is a solid 6.5.

However, the film never manages to write its smart characters believably well. Every instance of Elena’s character being ‘smart’ is done through someone else saying she is smart, or her saying she has done some ‘impressive programming’. As these things she claims to have done are simply mumbo jumbo and even are shown in a simplistic manner, she fails to ever be convincingly intelligent. Compare this to say Sherlock, or even Q in the Bond films. These characters are seen as intelligent because the audience is given the same information they are but the characters derive more from said information. The audience thus respects the character. Elena is never afforded the same grace in this film.

In comparison, Jane, the former MI6 agent, definitely comes of as a decent fighter. If John Wich films have a 10/10 fight choreography, this was a healthy 7. Nothing a little more fight training can’t fix.

Even Sabina whose exact skill set I am unaware of, manages to feel like her own character. She is a bit whacky, makes odd jokes and is a clumsy professional which sorta works.

On the story front, the film is pretty straight forward though it tries hard to have twists and surprises. They all, while surprising, feel forced. I never gasped in shock, my reaction was more akin to an indifferent shrug that said, ‘sure why not?’.

All this not to say that it is a bad film, it is more that the new Charlie’s Angels is a perfectly fine action film that you can watch when you just want to relax.

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