Sorry ladies, this new “Charlie’s Angels” lacks independence or energy.
After I attended a screening of “Charlie’s Angels,” I was having a conversation with my mother, who also know the sequel or reboot (or whatever the Hell they would call this movie) would be boring. She also explained that even the 1970s TV series couldn’t define her as an independent woman. Her blood runs in the family. Women can do anything, and watching “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” the other day, I acknowledge the courage of how a Chinese bride-to-be didn’t need to act like one.
But that’s not the case with the new “Charlie’s Angels,” directed by Elizabeth Banks, who also co-stars in it. It’s a dead zone with boring villains, lame jokes, cheesy explosions, muddled plotting, and basically every girl assuming they need female action heroes to define them as women. They should talk to my mother; she could explain it to them.
The new Angels are ex-convict Sabina Wilson (Kristen Stewart), ex-MI6 agent Jane Kano (Ella Balinska), and systems engineer Elena Houghlin (Naomi Scott). And the new Bosleys (apparently there’s a lot of them) are the retired John Bosley (Patrick Stewart), and the newly appointed Susan Bosley (Banks).
The plot either cantankerous, boring, or predictable. It involves a project that could become a weapon suitable for sale on the black market, and Elena is the whistleblower against the company she worked for.
There’s no point in making this “Charlie’s Angels” sequel/reboot (again I don’t know what it is). Stewart and Scott have respectively made better movies, and Balinska is a newcomer, I suppose; but they all failed to impress me. For them, it’s all action and less independence, both tainted by empty or generic gags.
For example: when Sabina nearly gets killed by a shabby-looking explosion, and becomes comatose, Jane weeps for her, and just as she wakes up, the audience is laughing. And it ends with Sabina asking the tough-as-nails Jane if she’s crying, while trying to hide the tears. Is this supposed to look like a prank or just plain unexpected? I wasn’t convinced in either.
In fact, I was reminded of a scene from another horrible TV-turned-movie bomb “Baywatch,” when Zac Efron was drowning, and imagines he’s kissing Alexandra Daddario, but Dwayne Johnson was the one giving him air and flipping him off. What’s wrong with these comedies, I mean really?
The villains are also pathetic and bland. You get Nat Faxon as Elena’s sexist supervisor, who first comeuppance is having his electric toothbrush be given toilet water (Jason Sudeikis did a funnier job with that in “Horrible Bosses”) before getting shot to death; you get Jonathan Tucker as the standard assassin (far cry from Javier Bardem in “No Country for Old Men”); and the movie has to confuse you with the question of who’s the real villain-Banks or Stewart.
The first movie Banks directed a segment in “Movie 43,” which was tasteless, and then she made “Pitch Perfect 2,” which was cute, and it looks like she wants to make women women with “Charlie’s Angels,” but if you ask me, it’s more of the same.
And there’s only one scene that makes sense is when she’s appalled that her Angels haven’t heard of the “Birdman of Alcatraz” movie with Stewart saying “Birdman” is Michael Keaton,” Banks saying “No, Michael Keaton is Batman,” and her assistant (Luis Gerardo Mendez” saying: “No, Ben Affleck is Batman.” “Is he?, Banks says before explaining how people of all ages can be movie buffs.
This is made for millennials, and I, for one, got sick of it.