Charlie’s Angels Offers Up Action, Comedy

Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska and Naomi Scott star in Charlie’s Angels.

Charlie’s Angels takes the Townsend Agency international in this very fast-paced action-comedy written and directed by Elizabeth Banks.

After 40 years working with the Angels, John Bosley (Patrick Stewart) is retiring.  Under his leadership, the Angels have gone global.  There’s not just one team based out of California.  Instead, there are a several teams of Angels across the globe.  The film chooses to focus on Sabina Wilson (Kristen Stewart) and Jane Kano (Ella Balinska).  One year after an incident in Rio, the two are working for a client in Hamburg.  Little do they know that they’ll soon be recruiting Elena Houghlin (Naomi Scott) into the Angels program with Calisto having the potential to be weaponized.  With Bosley retired, Boz (Elizabeth Banks) takes over.  It turns out that Bosley has come to symbolize a title within the Angels.

The film is certainly not the first film in a franchise this year to see their franchise go international.  This already happened over the summer with Men in Black: International.  In any event, it’s a nice touch and a way to bring in more viewers–especially young women.  This is the type of film that could very well influence somebody to become a spy.

Banks’ script is one that contains no shortage of pop culture references.  Whether its The Fast and The Furious movies or a debate over Batman, there’s something for everyone.  Poor Ben Affleck!  My personal favorite is a line recited by Banks herself: “There are film buffs of all ages.”  Are you listening, Film Twitter?!?

One of the things to love about the film is the fan service.  My G-d, it’s awesome to say the least.  I love the decision to tie the film into not only the original series but the two previous films.  Listen, I’m not going to give any of it away but there many cameos during the end credits.  Let’s just say that one of these cameos left me feeling very disappointed.

The film continues the tradition that started in 2000 with a comical approach rather than a straight-out drama.  It’s for the best, of course.  The comedy especially works because of Kristen Stewart.  Sure, anyone else could have likely taken on the role but when Kristen Stewart is on the screen, there’s no telling what’s going to come out of her mouth.  This adds onto the collection of solid work that Stewart has done post-Twilight.  While Naomi and Ella deliver solid work in their own right, Kristen Stewart is the film’s MVP.

Charlie’s Angels works because Elizabeth Banks brings a fresh voice to the franchise and brings with her some of the Pitch Perfect magic.

CAST:  Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska, Elizabeth Banks, Djimon Hounsou, Sam Claflin, Noah Centineo, and Patrick Stewart

Columbia Pictures opens Charlie’s Angels in theaters on November 15, 2018. Grade: 4/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.