CHARLIE’S ANGELS - 2019 film

When a young systems engineer blows the whistle on a dangerous technology, Charlie's Angels are called into action, putting their lives on the line to protect us all.
Released: November 2019 (US).
Director: Elizabeth Banks.
Cast: Kristen Stewart | Elizabeth Banks | Ella Balinska | Naomi Scott | Patrick Stewart. 
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence.
Source: Rented. 

The only versions of Charlie’s Angels I ever watched were the films with Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz, and Drew Barrymore. I never liked them – the objectification of the women was uncomfortable (to put it mildly) and the actresses (with the exception of Lucy Liu) weren’t good. But, this remake promised to be different. And I’ve loved Naomi Scott ever since Aladdin

This is Elizabeth Banks’ directorial debut and her naïve enthusiasm for this project is palpable throughout the film – it’s soppy in every scene, in every line of cliché dialogue - and when the film ends up falling short, it’s just embarrassing. The direction is simplistic at best, the plot, dialogue, production, and cinematography are painfully cliché, and the action scenes are confused and flat (in particular, the scene in the café when Jane fights the assassin is weighed down by these odd camera angles that make no sense for the action on the screen. It’s bizarre and irritating). 

The girl power is forced down our throats at every opportunity, and because it's so obvious and heavy-handed, the film just doesn't come across as empowering or...feminist – it’s superficial and contrived. 

Banks also does what every self-proclaimed feminist writer should never do: make the male characters stupid to make the female characters smart. It’s insulting to all the characters, and patronising to the women she’s trying to empower. The characters of Elena, Sabina, Jane, and even Bosley (Bank’s character) are victims of this pathetic writing. The male characters aren’t given a chance, either. This “feminist” theme is a mess and the movie barely holds together. 

Naomi Scott, Kristen Stewart and Ella Balinska in Charlie's Angels (2019)

The acting is not the worst thing about this movie. This time, we can’t blame Kristen Stewart for its failure. The cast do what they can with the script, but it sabotages them in every scene and spoon feeds them dialogue, direction, and development that trips them up throughout the movie. To make things worse, Sam Clafin is the only actor who actually has presence on screen, but of course he’s not around long enough to do much. Naomi Scott, Kristen Stewart, and Ella Balinska have no screen presence. 

 Charlie’s Angels lacks any originality, genius, or excitement to pack a punch.

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