Movie #256 2020: Charlie’s Angels (2019)

From Drew Barrymore‘s iconic duo of Angels movies, to the rapidly cancelled TV series starring Rachael Taylor, the world is obsessed with rebooting Charlie’s Angels, there’s no doubt about it. In a world where #MeToo, feminism and equality are more prevalent than ever, it seems kind of timely that there is another remake of the classic seventies girl power show that everyone loves to call their guilty pleasure. However, does this one fare any better than expected?

Charlie’s Angels came once again to our screens last year, this time being directed (shockingly for the first time) by a woman. You may know her as Effie Trinket? That’s right, Elizabeth Banks lent her hand to this reboot. Not dissimilar to this plot of the first Kingsman movie, the Angels are deployed this time to fight a sinister organisation who are creating some very harmful software technology that could very well put the entire globe in jeopardy. In all seriousness, that’s about as far as the plot goes, other than the first half of the movie being dedicated to recruiting the third Angel who they find in Naomi Scott.

I have to kick this off by stating that this is a much better movie than critics and viewers gave it credit for. The fact that the original Barrymore/Diaz/Liu movies are often disliked by the majority should have given that away. I for one adore those movies; they’re fun, ridiculous, and it’s super exciting for women to see other women kick ass on screen. I had a lot of fun watching this movie, even if it’s on the average side compared to the mid-2000s duo of films.

As previously mentioned, there’s a lot of joy in seeing female ‘superheroes’ in the media, and the superhero market is still saturated by male characters. Yeah, there’s Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman, and Black Widow is reportedly on its way to us, but think of the testosterone to oestrogen balance here and the scale strongly tips over on the XY chromosomes’ side. What I’m saying is, praise Elizabeth Banks for making fun films for the women and the gays. Charlie’s Angels (2019) is surprisingly well directed, and the only explanation for these movies being poorly rated has to be that men have no sense of fun. There, I said it. Stay away from our movies and go and watch John Wick, okay? At least I can admit that John Wick is fun to watch, whereas you just can’t bear to see women fighting crime in the same way.

On the downside, of course this is campy, but it’s somehow not campy enough. The charm from the two past movies came with everything being so over-exaggerated, and whilst Kristen Stewart attempts to capture some of that, she ends up being the most annoying and unnatural character, unlike Cameron Diaz’s quirky Natalie, whom it seems she based her performance on. 

What is impressive here is that each character is fully realised, despite K.Stew’s attempt being my least favourite. Special props to Patrick Stewart though, who is as delightful as ever, and also to the breakout performer which comes from relative newcomer Ella Balinska, who is very Lucy Liu in her execution: serious, but with a sense of humour. It will be great to see her expand her resume.

No, not the best movie of all time. Heck, it’s not even the best Angels movie of all time. But it’s a lot of fun and impossible to hate, hence why I’m giving it 3 Qs, but please note that it’s quite a high 3. Fuck the haters!

Charlie’s Angels is available to stream on Sky Cinema and Now TV in the UK.

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