Kristen Stewart and Naomi Scott with Ella Balinska are the new faces in Charlie’s Angels. With Elizabeth Banks directing, the latest version of Angels delves into a message that fits today’s generation. Hoping to provide fresh entertainment, there are various shortcomings that make it no better than the previous edition.
Describes the Townsend Agency employing “Angels”, Kingsman-style female spies, to the world. No longer headed by “Charlie”, they report to a senior spy known as “Bosley”.
Starting from Sabina Wilson (Kristen Stewart) as a spy with the dialogue “I think women can do anything”. Teaming up with former British spy agency, MI-6, Jane Ella Balinska, they take down a conspiracy to embezzle money. After the mission was over, they returned to their own Bosley.
Then comes Elena, played by Naomi Scott. He is a young scientist who exposes the fraud committed by the company he works for. Together with Sabina and Jane, Elena tries to dismantle the rottenness of the company. They are assisted by the female Bosley (Elizabeth Banks).
Charlie’s Angels plot continuation
Elizabeth Banks became an important figure in the development of the film. In addition to being a director and taking part in the role, the 45-year-old actress is also present as a scriptwriter. No wonder how the latest incarnation of Angels looks more unique from a woman’s point of view.
Indeed, the plot is made to accommodate the many messages that are inserted throughout the story. Everything is adapted to the problems and issues that have developed in recent years. The impression of feminism is clearly felt. Not only focusing on each character with their own problems, but also friendship among girls .
The basic idea of Charlie’s Angels remains the same; three women fighting crime as part of a private organization owned by ‘Charlie’. No one ever knew who Charlie was. Even in the TV version of the series, viewers only hear voices, see their backs, hair, arms, or legs. Without ever seeing Charlie’s face. However, for this remake, there are indications that Charlie is a woman (?!!).
If previously the Angels trio became a unified story, this time each character seems to have their own portion. The athletic and determined Balinska is prepared for the action scenes, while Scott with his cartoon expression brings a sense of comedy. As for Kristen Stewart, she seems to be having fun, like finding her own world in this action comedy.
Getting a rare comical character, Stewart became the most entertaining character in this film. A fresh one liner and a powerful-seductive blend from start to finish. Towards the climax, a shocking scene suddenly appeared. Just like when Scott sings in the middle of a movie in Aladdin (2019) .
Angels perspective today
The original TV incarnation of Charlie’s Angels briefly became a 1970s phenomenon and lasted a long time. Partly thanks to the female version of the spy being rarely exposed, and others due to the ‘sexy’ side it displays. This spy agent character was then presented in a more powerful form with Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu in 2000 and its 2003 sequel.
It’s very clear how this film is aimed at young women. Every criminal (mostly men!) one encounters is often goofy, sexist, and demeaning to women in various ways. But not all portions are in place. Often awkward and forced by the weight of the message conveyed.
Perhaps the most important part of Banks’ version is how Angels no longer focuses on showing off sensuality like many previous editions. You could say, the selection of costumes reflects the point of view of women as the brains of this film. It’s just that the reasons and intentions of Scott’s costume in the third act are questionable. Kidnapped and told to choose clothes, okay . Go to the salon to get your hair done? Nope !
Supporting ranks? Ariana Grande’s soundtrack, Michael Strahan’s cameo from the original TV series, various famous female actresses/athletes in the post credits, and characters who appear a bit as love interests, and the presence of Noah Centineo is ready to be an eyewash for girls who watch in the cinema.
Order first, then tell
This latest edition is greatly helped by a charming cast that gives an overall ‘not so bad’ feel. Stewart looks stunning, not to mention underrated actress Ella Balinska who gives a new impression. But others faltered in their delivery.
The plot is still the same; Three female secret agents save the world with their combined strength, intelligence and beauty. Unfortunately this time it lacks the luxury and action of its predecessors. The plot is not without plot, but limping in conveying the message of ‘strong woman’ which is shown in several parts of the sub-plot.
Having only sat twice behind the camera, Banks doesn’t seem too immersed in the action scenes. Interesting set piece at the beginning, lost with awkward edits. Where the true Angels are recognized for their strength and martial arts, which ironically is more attached to the Barrymore, Diaz, and Liu gang.
For the target audience, this film is quite entertaining. Shows how women are able to stick to their own choices, support each other, and are not inferior in anything to men. A very interesting message, unfortunately the execution is far from perfect.
Overall, the story is arguably not the greatest strength of the Charlie’s Angels film. On the character side, Stewart shines in a more casual role. With a perfunctory plot, action scenes are not too captivating, there are many things that can be improved. But if you still want to see ‘girl power’ movie kicking asses ? Not bad .