Okay, hear me out. Charlie’s Angels is good.
I’ll be honest, I had low expectations going into it. The trailer was poor, the credits song released a few months ago was terrible. It all seemed destined to flop. So maybe it was just because of these expectations that I came away from last night’s preview screening in good spirits. In fact, I’d go so far as to say Charlie’s Angels is a success.
For starters, it looks amazing. This Charlie’s Angels is a sleek and sophisticated reboot of the classic series and films, although it exists within the same universe. The action is tight, and the jokes come thick and fast. Plus, unlike other reboots of recent times (take note Men in Black) it manages to capture what made the original so successful and push it up a notch.
The plot itself is nothing new; the Angels are tasked with keeping a potentially dangerous piece of tech out of the wrong hands. Honestly, there’s not much more you need to know and the story quickly becomes less important than the characters in it. There’s twists, turns, and Patrick Stewart – basically everything you need for a fun night out.
There’s new Angels this time around too. Replacing Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu (although look out for a fleeting cameo), are Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska and Elizabeth Banks, who also writes and directs. Stewart is in the best form she’s been in, and Banks is a delight to watch. Balinska is almost a complete newcomer and this is certainly her biggest role to date – I’d watch out for her in future. Naomi Scott, from this year’s Aladdin, is another excellent addition to the cast. Patrick Stewart relishes in a role that probably didn’t challenge him too much. He’s having so much fun, and who’d blame him. His scenes are a highlight.
Of course, it couldn’t be Charlie’s Angels without some girl power. With Banks both writing and behind the camera, the dynamic between the cast is pitch perfect and the Angels are never treated as anything less than powerful, clever and in control. It’s fascinating to see how a show from the 1970s that was essentially devised around the sex appeal of its leads has become a franchise built around female empowerment.
Ultimately, what this film did is go far beyond my low expectations. Sure, it’s not going to be at the Oscars next year. But it’s a popcorn flick done as best as it can be – stupid, loud, funny and well worth the price of admission.
Reviewed by Stewart Sowman-Lund.