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November 20, 2019

Charlie's Angels (2019) --- “Sworn To Secrecy, Bound By Sisterhood.”

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     Jane (Ella Balinska) and Sabine (Kristen Stewart) travel around the world completing missions on behalf of the mysterious and now international Charles Townsend agency, as Angels. When young programmer Elena (Naomi Scott) discovers that the sustainable energy technology she invented has the potential to be weaponized, she seeks help from the Townsend Agency to stop it. But when the tech falls into the wrong hands, it is up to Elena, the Angles, and their trusted handler Bosely (Elizabeth Banks ) to retrieve the dangerous tech before it has the chance to irreversible damage. Can the girls find out who is behind the threat before its too late?
     Directed by Elizabeth Banks (Brightburn, Mrs. America), and co-written alongside Evan Spiliotopoulos (The Huntsmen: Winter’s War, Bright 2) and David Auburn (Georgetown, Lake House), Charlie’s Angels (2019) is the third installment in the film series that continues where the television series by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts and the film series by McG left off. Although most people are never 100% thrilled when a reboot film is created but Charlie’s Angels (2019) is the reboot we never knew we needed. The film is brisk and knowingly tongue-in-cheek but at the same time, it slows down enough to allow the characters to connect and interact with the audience and each other. The film is mainly about women and promoting girl-power, while the actual crime-solving aspect is secondary. On that same note, while the girl-power vibe is nice and for the most part handled well, there are moments where it is very heavy-handed. Not everything needs to be detailed out, in fact, sometimes the less-is-more concept comes across a lot better. However, just as the Angels use society’s expectations about beautiful women against their targets, this film uses the audience's preconceived expectations about Charlie’s Angels to insert some surprising twists, which in turn make for an interesting story.
     A strong aspect of the story is that it gives ample time for the characters to shine. Kristen Stewart (Underwater) is entertaining as the flirty and comedic Sabina, while Ella Balinska (Hunted, The Athena) works well former MI6 turned Angel, Jane Kano, who performs most of the major action scenes gracefully. Naomi Scott (Aladdin) was hilarious and held her own as young programmer Elena Houghlin. Together, all three of the girls make for an interesting and well-rounded trio of Angels. Elizabeth Banks as Rebekah "Bosley", a former Angel who became one of Charlie's assistants, was delightful. For the supporting characters, Patrick Stewart (Star Trek: Picard) offers an a-typical performance and yet it is a delight to see him on screen; Jonathan Tucker (Westworld) is a bit one-dimensional but also formidable and  mysterious; Sam Claflin (Adrift) was good as the smug and insanely wealthy Alexander Brock; Noah Centineo (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before 1 & 2) was cute as Elana’s Assistant, Langston; and Luis Gerardo Méndez (Murder Mystery) was hilarious as The Saint. The rest of the cast Djimon Hounsou (The King’s Man), Chris Pang (Crazy Rich Asians), Nat Faxon (Disenchantment) and even Robert Clotworthy (The Curse of Civil War Gold) who takes over as the voice of Charles "Charlie" Townsend, following John Forsythe's death in 2010 - gave good performances that added to the film’s character. 
     Overall, Charlie’s Angels (2019) is a fun, well-paced, action-packed, girl-power film that makes you laugh and smile throughout the entire film. It is the reboot we never knew we needed. Now the story had some issues with being heavy-handed in certain areas but it means well and the overall context is what matters most. The cast performances are great, especially from Stewart, Balinska, Scott, and Banks, all of whom provide most of the film’s dynamic nature. I highly recommend this film, especially if you enjoyed the TV series or two other feature films by director McG.

Final Vote --- 8 of 10 stars

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