On Sky Cinema in the UK and available to stream on other services.
I’ve always had a soft spot for the Angels and fondly remember the 70’s TV show and enjoyed Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu’s big screen antics as they captured much of the light hearted charm and fun of the original.
Roll on nearly 20 years and Elizabeth Banks picks up the franchise, there’s a lot to work with with the Angels idea, find three actors that can bring a light hearted chemistry to the screen, give them some action set pieces, a script with a bit of wit and charm and allow it to happen at a pace that keeps the story and the action zipping along.
Sounds easy and some films get the mix right and some are sadly like this and get it wrong on all levels. Set in the present, the Townsend agency has expanded to offer services around the globe the original Bosley, Patrick Stewart, now a rank rather than a person, is retiring. Elizabeth Banks picks up the senior Bosley mantle. A new Angels team is put together with Kristen Stewart’s Sabina and Ella Balinska’s Jane too help out and protect Naomi Scott who plays Elena a scientist working on an energy technology that she knows has a bug that can allow it to be weaponized. The story plays out Bondesque style moving around the world from one set piece to another before the final stand off and in this case, predictable ending.
With film’s like this the plot isn’t that important, a fun script, engaging leads, entertaining action and you’re on your way, sadly this lacks all of that. It’s slow and plodding, set pieces that are few and far between are pretty perfunctory and underwhelming and most disappointingly the main characters don’t work, even the normally reliable Bank’s can do nothing with this. The script doesn’t help but the performances aren’t great, Ella Balinska looks out of her comfort zone in this kind of film and Kristen Stewart never delivers the sassy rebel that she is cast to bring. The only high point is Scott, who is more believable as the bright girl, who finds herself cast into a crazy world of spies and intrigue, she manages to be engaging and funny throughout.
While this is a very dissapointing film I do think there is room for a good Charlie’s Angels and Banks no doubt would like to develop a franchise. But for me the whole thing needs a rethink, because not sure anyone needs to see a sequel to this version.