HOLLYWOOD─So where do I actually begin. I cannot believe that Hollywood has become so enamored with making remakes of remakes. It’s like that is the new trend; let’s try to bring a fresh approach to a popular franchise that moviegoers adored. Now I will admit that it has been some time since “Charlie’s Angels” hit the big screen. The big screen version first arrived in 2001 with Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Lui tackling iconic roles.
That film was absolutely entertaining and a ton of fun to watch. Its sequel, “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” was underwhelming. How so? You have someone as great as Demi Moore, whose talent was not fully utilized. So it makes sense why it took nearly 16 years for a new movie to hit the screen. This new entry is helmed by actress Elizabeth Banks. Yes, that Banks, who is responsible for directing the fantastic “Pitch Perfect 2.” However, some might argue Banks was a bit in over her head with this action-adventure.
How so? There was a level of continuity with previous flicks in the franchise, whereas, I don’t feel that with this new entry. There is a lot going on, and going over the top is not always a good thing for the viewer. That specifically revolves around the number of characters in the action-flick. There are too many, when the focus should be on the newest Angels.
Do we have name recognition? Not quite, perhaps the name that most will know is Kristen Stewart, the “Twilight” alum who portrays Sabina Wilson, a rebel with a cause. Think of her as taking on the role that Barrymore crafted with her character. Stewart has the edgy look down, but in terms of evolution beyond the archetype, there is not much going there. Joining Stewart as the new angels are Elena (Naomi Scott), who is the brains of the trio who finds herself recruited after a series of events at her former job.
It is indeed safe to say that Elena is the catalyst of a majority of the narrative, but her character isn’t front and center as much as she should be. Rounding out the trio is Jane (Ella Balinska), who is the eye-candy who can kick butt in a series of ways. The ladies have decent chemistry, but as a viewer you constantly compare it to the chemistry of the original ladies from the TV series and the 2001 flick. That chemistry was so strong it just clicked on all cylinders and worked.
The chemistry here is passable, so it’s not bad, but it is not instant either. On top of that we have a slew of Bosley’s which just left me baffled. Elizabeth Banks, Djimon Honsou and Patrick Stewart all take on the iconic character in some sort of fashion throughout the story. Banks’ character is smart, clever, and could be highlighted as an up and coming action star depending on who you speak to. The story involves a particular device that has been stolen that can have deadly outcomes, and as you know the angels are on the hunt to find the perpetrator before it’s too late.
“Charlie’s Angels” has plenty of twists; but some of those twists are difficult to navigate as a viewer and can leave you lost or confused. A good twist is easy to follow, not one that forces you to think how things add up. There is plenty of action, explosions, epic stunts and cheeky moments in the flick. There are even some cameos that will leave audiences surprised. “Charlie’s Angels” is a decent entry into the franchise, but it’s nothing that leaves you astounded or that you’ll talk about for years to come.