‘Charlie’s Angels’ has trouble getting off the ground

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“Charlie’s Angels” is a remake of the popular 2000 movie of the same name. Written and directed by Elizabeth Banks, the film follows three spies known as “angels,” played by Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska. The angels try to recover a device called Calisto, which is an energy conversion device that can be programmed to give people seizures.  

What could have been a fascinating plot ends up being forgettable and bland. Banks’ writing is inconsistent and filled with unnecessary details. She tries to explain certain jokes or elements of the plot through extended dialogue scenes that come off as filler. Stewart tries her best to work with the script, but her performance feels clunky. Balinska’s acting is decent but nothing to write home about. Scott gives the best performance of the film: Her American accent is on point and she does her best given the lackluster script. 

The majority of fight scenes seem to take “The Bourne Identity” approach of having each scene shot from multiple angels and edited quickly, which might be the most creative technical aspect of the film. Banks also has an acting role as Bosley, the leader of the angels. Banks’ performance may be better than her writing, but that’s not saying much.  

After a disappointing opening weekend at the box office, Banks responded in an interview with the Herald Sun by saying, “They’ll [audience members] go and see a comic book movie with ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Captain Marvel’ because that’s a male genre.” She also went on to explain how those films are about women, but they’re meant to set up other films like “Justice League.”  

What sets a film like “Captain Marvel” apart from “Charlie’s Angels” is not the connection to a male-dominated genre. Rather, the intricate storyline and fleshed-out characters make “Captain Marvel” a more memorable film that represents women in action movies. 

The chance of a sequel for “Charlie’s Angels” is probably low, given how it only made $8.4 million at the box office. For a film that was budgeted between $60 and $75 million, this past weekend was an embarrassment. In comparison, “Captain Marvel” had a budget between $152 and $175 million and made over $1 billion at the box office. 

Other than the theme song, “Don’t Call Me Angel,” this film doesn’t have any defining features. It lacked the social commentary and punch a film like Jennifer Kent’s “The Nightingale” has, the acting was average at best and the writing was subpar. The editing did very little to spice up the bland structure of the film. Score-wise, the music felt like whitenoise. It was the kind of music used in any generic film. 

This movie may be an indicator that the nostalgia trend in Hollywood needs to end soon. Originality is how many franchises have been formed. By continuing to bank on older properties instead of investing in independent filmmakers, viewers will grow tired of going to the movies and look for exciting and new content elsewhere. 

Rating: 2.5/5  

Thumbnail photo courtesy of @charliesangel Instagram.


Ian Ward is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at ian.ward@uconn.edu

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