Starring: Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska
Director: Elizabeth Banks
Running Time: 118 mins
Charlie’s Angels is an American film following a team of female superspies as they attempt to track down a stolen technology, which, if in the wrong hands, threatens the safety of the world.
The original Charlie’s Angels (by which I mean the first of the remakes) was hardly a cinematic masterpiece, and while it did have a degree of comic relief that’s been compounded by its cult status through the years, there wasn’t much to write home about.
When it comes to this sequel/second remake, Charlie’s Angels is once again somewhat of a dud, and although it does feature a little of fun girl power and action, its story is ridiculous and non-sensical throughout, its characters difficult to follow, its comedy unfunny, and its main message incredibly underwhelming.
Of course, the big difference between this film and the last outing for Charlie’s Angels is a massive change in perceptions towards women on the big screen, particularly when it comes to action roles. The last films had a degree of girl power at the centre of their stories, but the leads still played up their roles as objects rather than genuinely talented super spies.
So, you’d expect that twenty years later – particularly with the dramatic development of female roles on the big screen – Charlie’s Angels would have a lot more to offer. However, while the leads aren’t objectified in the same way as the past, they still aren’t the legendary spies that you’d expect, but rather a bunch of rather generic and frankly uninteresting characters lumped together in an equally uninteresting story.
The film tries, rather unsuccessfully, to drive home a message about female empowerment with a little more depth than the previous movies, but the problem is that it really lacks the intelligence in its screenplay for you to ever take that message seriously.
If the film spent a little more time on its characters, a little more time on the forces of evil they come up against, and a little more time on crafting a degree of unpredictability and peril in the plot, then that main message would have had a lot more gravity, and not come off like a rather half-hearted and forced attempt at relevance for what is otherwise an incredibly simplistic and often pointless film.
It’s a blockbuster with no depth, failing to ever grab you beyond the superficial level of action. On top of that, the film can’t even create consistent or even entertaining characters, with its three leads either underwhelming and generic (Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska), or all over the place (Kristen Stewart).
When you don’t know who your main characters are, and there’s only the odd bit of action to entertain, things do begin to drag rather quickly, leaving only one thing to save Charlie’s Angels from being somewhat of a disaster.
Unfortunately, that’s the comedy, which is probably the worst part of the film. Charlie’s Angels isn’t particularly good wherever you look, but it does at least have a degree of simplistic, action fare – even it might not be the most interesting.
But the comedy in particular is appalling, failing to get even a chuckle out of me at any point. Not only is it predictable and simplistic, but just random throughout, with characters chiming in with ‘jokes’ that are totally irrelevant to the situation, leaving every single gag to fall flat on its face.
Overall, once again, there’s not much to write home about with Charlie’s Angels. It’s a painfully simplistic, generic, predictable action movie that, despite attempting to bring home a modern message, fails in all regards with a ridiculous and non-sensical story, while also missing the mark when it comes to delivering good comedy, so that’s why I’m giving it a 5.9.