Charlie’s Angels initially started off as a crime drama TV show in the 70s. After 5 seasons, the series ended in the early 80s, with no less than 6 Angels gracing the small screen. 19 years later, Charlie’s Angels returned, with Angels played by Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu, all who are now household names. This film reboot was successful and went on to have a sequel in 2003. Unlike the initial original version of Charlie’s Angels, this version was campier, kookier and fitting for its time. In 2011, there was another reboot of Charlie’s Angels, but in TV format with actresses Annie Ilonzeh, Minka Kelly and Rachael Taylor. Although it did look attractive, the show was soon cancelled due to its low ratings after airing only four episodes. Cut to 2019 and Charlie’s Angels is back again, equipped with the talents of director Elizabeth Banks. But is this version promising?
Kristen Stewart and Ella Balinska play characters Sabina and Jane, Angels who haven’t yet found their established trio as they are still in training. When the pair are required to work together on a case however, Naomi Scott’s character Elena is pulled into the mix, a quirky scientist whose life is in danger. Elena, although a client that The Angels need to protect, soon becomes fascinated with the commitments and responsibilities of being an Angel agent and wants to help assist in the mission more and more. With Elizabeth Banks’ Bosley at the helm, this is a quartet that I found surprisingly entertaining.
Ella Balinska is strong, fierce and is somewhat lonely as former MI-6 agent Jane, who is used to going solo. Kristen Stewart has a natural talent for comedic flair as the mischievously sassy odd-ball Sabina, always captivating the audience whenever on-screen. Naomi Scott plays adorably nerdy character Elena, who is actually hilarious in her fight scene, which I found completely unexpected. Although Elizabeth Banks is fine in her own individual portrayal as a ‘Bosley’ (while still moonlighting as director), it was actually Australia’s Chris Pang that almost stole the show as love-sick criminal, Jonny.
I really enjoyed the way the main characters were getting a feel of each other’s personalities, essentially perfect strangers at the beginning of the film. I found it rather refreshing that the film’s narrative focused on the idea of new recruits rather than an already established trio that have been working together for years. This is because the latter is something that we have all seen and heard of before, and it’s time for something new. New characters, fresh faces, a refreshing storyline, a more serious tone and impressive action sequences to boot. Elizabeth Banks has managed to bring the new changes to the forefront, while still remaining true to the original source.
Despite the unnecessary video montage at the beginning of the film, blatantly displaying young girls and real women (having absolutely nothing to do with the film itself), and the really stupid photoshopped imagery of Bill Murray’s face replaced with Sir Patrick Stewart, this 2019 version of Charlie’s Angels stands apart from its predecessors due to its modern take on female empowerment, comradely, and fresh storyline.
If you are hung up on any former version of Charlie’s Angels and are expecting pretty much of the same, prepare to be disappointed and sent to rewatch the old versions, as this isn’t it. 2019 Charlie’s Angels has its own identity, new fierce female agents, new age girl power and I am goddamn here for it.
Charlie’s Angels is in cinemas now.