Charlie’s Angels has seen many different faces in its time. First came Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith as Jill, Sabrina and Kelly. Then came Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu as Dylan, Natalie and Alex. Both are known for fights, sexy clothes and the elusive Charlie.
Now, 16 years after the first reboot, Charlie’s Angels is getting a brand new set of angels with Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska and Naomi Scott. But unless they’re planning on regarding this film as a simple exposition for future films with these angels to come, it seems to fall a bit flat.
Both past versions of Charlie’s Angels have included a team of three angels, and didn’t give an indication of Charlie possessing any other existing agencies. This reboot shows Charlie now has multiple Bosleys, which has turned from a character name to an officer ranking similar to lieutenant, and angels all over the world.
Sabina (Stewart) and Jane (Balinska) team up to help Elena (Scott) after she tells them her software is going to be weaponized. The entire film basically throws Elena into the life of an angel and sets her up to complete the rebooted trio.
This reboot is great if they’re setting up for more films. The film felt very expositional, almost like a full-length feature out of the short snippets of film the audience sees in the first reboot in 2000, describing each of the angels and how they met. The debate on whether this expositional film is necessary for more films with this cast is up in the air, but if this is the only one they plan on making, then all the audience is left with is a film that vaguely resembles the Charlie’s Angels spirit, without ever openly displaying it.
If the film is exposition for more, then this correlates with the fact that the 2019 Charlie’s Angels has significantly more substance than any of its predecessors. There are tones of sexual harassment, female equality and other serious issues dealt with today. Part of the appeal of Charlie’s Angels is that it’s mostly mindless, action-packed entertainment. The substance that director Elizabeth Banks tried to sprinkle in didn’t translate well to the audience, but instead felt more like a drag instead of a progressive addition to an old-fashioned topic.
By far the best part of the film is Kristen Stewart. She delivers a surprisingly comedic and free performance, which is a nice departure from her other roles. Each of the women in the film are well cast, but Kristen Stewart truly shines the brightest in her role as Sabina.
Altogether the film isn’t too bothersome, except for the fact that it taints the 2000/2003 Bosley’s character. Though there are plenty of Bosleys in the film, the two main ones are Elizabeth Banks and Patrick Stewart. The most recent reboot acts as somewhat of a sequel to the 2000/2003 Charlie’s Angels, because it shows Patrick Stewart’s face photoshopped over Bill Murray’s, who portrayed Bosley in the 2000 reboot.
There are a lot of plot holes with Patrick Stewart’s portrayal of Bosley. It is slightly distracting from the rest of the film, and though there are a lot of great easter eggs from the original Charlie’s Angels, this easter egg was better left untouched.
Overall the film isn’t terrible, but it centers around too much exposition for it to just be a stand-alone film. Hopefully a sequel will come along to add to the rebooted series, but if not then the reboot definitely fell flat of what it could’ve been.