Charlie's Angels (2019)
19 years ago, Charlie’s Angels hit the big screen and I absolutely loved that movie, three years later they followed it up with Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle and to put it bluntly the movie sucked. Now that the movie is in the hands of Elizabeth Banks, will she be able to do a better job than what we saw in the last film?
First of all, the Townsend Agency has existed for over 40 years. The Angels you may have watched in the 1976 TV series with Jill, Sabrina, & Kelly (and later Kris, Tiffany, and Julie) to the two films with Dylan, Natalie, & Alex have all happened. Banks has said “Charlie’s Angels was the beginning of female empowerment on TV. So, when we started the process of continuing Charlie’s Angels, we wanted to incorporate everything that had come before.”
The organization has grown to become an international agency with John Bosley (Patrick Stewart) being the first man who has worked with the Angels for years. As John retires after 40 years of service, he is replaced by … Rebekah “Bosley” or “Boz” (Elizabeth Banks). As a sign of respect to the original, all directors of a Townsend International agency are referred to as: Bosley. The movie concentrates on 3 women as the main part of the story, however, there are many women within the organization. In one scene they show a Strike team of about 6-8 women on a mission kicking ass.
The story itself has some elements of some other movies I’ve seen, Mission Impossible 1 was the one that stood out to me (Again I say SOME elements of the movie, it’s not a direct copy of M.I.) and even a little of Full Throttle. That said, originality is not a strong point of this movie, but how many movies today have a truly original story? Thankfully, they kept away from the over-the-top comedy of the previous movies and kept it to a few “haha” moments throughout the film.
Our current team consists of Sabina (Kristen Stewart) the free-wheeling, free-spirited hot shot of the group. Sabina comes across as the girl who didn’t know what she wanted to do in life, so she became an espionage agent. Then we have the exact opposite of Sabina, Jane (Ella Balinska). Jane is a former MI-6 agent who is very Strait-laced, determined, and focused. She finds her strength in physical activity, and never fails to get the job done. Finally, we have the reason why this team is thrown together when we meet Naomi Scott’s character, Elena.
Elena, a scientist, and engineer who has created Calisto, a sustainable energy source designed to revolutionize the way we power things. When her bosses rush her invention to market, she warns them there is a flaw in the system: in the wrong hands, it can be used as a deadly weapon. Unfortunately, her bosses turn out to be “The Wrong Hands”, so Elena turns to The Townsend Agency for help. Elena’s fight for justice ignites a globe-trotting adventure to get the device back before something terrible happens.
Look I was really on the fence about this whole movie, but after seeing Kristen Stewart in the trailer and seeing her in American Ultra (I’m probably one of the few people that loved that movie) I REALLY wanted to see what she’d do in this role. Everyone seems so stuck on Twilight that they can’t see past that role when her name comes up. Thank God, Elizabeth Banks has a bit more vision than that, Because her character, Sabina, was fantastic. Out of all of the Angels, she was my absolute favorite.
Ella Balinska was OK, I just couldn’t get around how she started off as this tough as nails female agent and by the end she was all smiles, flirting with a guy, and just the opposite of how she started. I understand a character can go through a growth process in a movie but the last time I saw someone’s mood shift that quickly, medication was needed soon after. She did have some great action scenes so I can overlook that little issue.
Naomi Scott did fine as the damsel-in-distress, who later becomes an agent. She shows that not all women have to be adrenaline junkies, ex-military/special ops, or MMA fighters to become one of Charlie’s Angels. All you need is the courage to stand up for yourself and/or others and do what’s right.
The acting, specifically from the Stewart’s (Kristen and Patrick), more than made up for most of the story issues. Johnathan Tucker as the villainous assassin, Hodak, was a much deadlier version of the previous films, Thin Man. But much like the Thin Man, Hodak is just a henchman. There is a higher up pulling the strings and this Mr or Mrs “Big” is one of the things the Angels need to uncover before Hodak kills all loose ends … including the Angels.