REVIEW: New ‘Charlie’s Angels’ is well below average

After more than a decade away from the big screen, the Angels have returned. Sadly, their latest adventure isn’t too memorable.

“Charlie’s Angels” introduces audiences to new spies, including Sabina (Kristen Stewart) and Jane (Ella Balinska). The duo are given a mission regarding a new energy generating device that can also be used for nefarious purposes.

To help secure the device and keep it off the black market, Sabina and Jane are tasked with guarding and eventually working with Elena, a woman who discovered the device’s dangerous abilities and was turned away when she tried to warn superiors. Along the way, the trio are also helped by their Bosley superior, portrayed by Elizabeth Banks.

Say what you will about the 2000 and 2003 “Charlie’s Angels,” but it can at least be stated that both movies had somewhat of an identity. They were flashy, over the top and had plenty of campiness. It had that 70s cheese repackaged in a modern way, making for an exaggerated, but somewhat of a fun watch.

This latest adaptation, though, doesn’t really seem to know what it wants to be. Banks, who also directed this feature, in some ways is pushing for a more serious, or at least more realistic version of the “Angels” concept. But, in doing so, there’s not much left here that sets it above or even apart from any other action comedies out there.

The film comes across as flat and uninspired, with an assembly line story and very few fun action set pieces. The film also feels lacking in style and visual flair, and again, the look is fairly standard and comparable to most other mid-level action flicks out there.

CharliesAngel
Courtesy Columbia Pictures, Perfect World Pictures and Sony Pictures.

Unfortunately, the film doesn’t see much of a boost with its humor either. Some gags and even a few running jokes work, but the material just isn’t consistent enough from start to finish.

The performances are at the very least alright. One thing the picture does have going for it is solid chemistry between the lead trio and the actresses themselves do elevate the picture in some moments. Banks also deserves credit for her take on the Bosley supervisor role, portraying the character as both a team member and a mentor.

The villains, though, are so painfully generic and the evil plan is feels so recycled, in more ways than one.

The work from the three leads and some comedy and action at least reaching a mediocre level keep this one afloat just enough to warrant a 2.0 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, and I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2009 graduate of Rainy River College and a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University in Moorhead. At MSU, I studied journalism and film. Outside of movies, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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