Stars: 2 out of 5
Pros: Action was fun
Cons: Weak plot, thin characters
The Bottom Line:
The action is fine
Held together with thin plot
And weak characters
“Who Am I? I’m Just the Decoy.”
Over the years, I’ve enjoyed Charlie’s Angels when I’ve caught reruns, and someday, I will get to the rest of my DVD sets. So, I was intrigued by the new movie that came out last year. But between the busy holiday season when it was released and the mixed reviews, I waited to see it until I could get it from Redbox. I wasn’t missing much.
We first meet Sabina (Kristen Stewart) while on a mission with Jane (Ella Balinska). She appears to be on a date, but we quickly learn her date is the bad guy they are after. Sabina and Jane don’t necessarily get along, but they are part of a much bigger organization, the Townsend Detective Agency still run by Charlie. While still headquartered in Los Angeles, both Sabina and Jane work out of the Europe office.
Sabina and Jane soon find themselves on a new mission working alongside Boz (Elizabeth Banks). This new mission? Elena (Naomi Scott) thinks the new product her company is testing in dangerous, possibly deadly, but no one is listening to her, so she’s turned to the Townsend Detective Agency. However, it is soon clear that the wrong people have been listening to Elena. Will the women be able to figure out who is behind the plot in time to stop them?
Now, let’s be honest here. The original was never great TV, even by 1970’s standards. Instead, it was campy and therefore lots of fun. This movie does nothing to try to capture those feelings. Instead, it feels like a generic action movie just with female leads instead of male leads. The opening scene, while fun, almost comes across as a to lecture a time or two, but once the main story gets going, we focus on the action. There are a few nods to the TV show, but none that are enough to make it feel like it is connected to anything the franchise has produced before. Since it was designed to appeal to nostalgia for the show, I find that a bit odd. The exception to that is a fun cameo at the end of the movie.
As an action movie, it is okay. The action scenes themselves are good, but the plot holding them together needed work. I’m still not entirely clear what the device does, but it hardly matters since it is just designed to drive the plot. They telegraph a plot twist that sets up the third act way too far in advance, so when we learn what is happening, I was rolling my eyes.
Likewise, the characters never grow beyond two dimensional characters. Even then, I feel like I’m being generous. I’m not blaming this on any of the actresses involved, who do the best they can with the material they have. Nope, this is firmly on the script, which was so focused on story that it didn’t spend any time on the characters.
I wanted this movie to be better – I really did. But Charlie’s Angels just didn’t work for me.