action film movie review

Charlie’s Angels (2019) Review

by Ian Morton

The strangest part of Charlie’s Angels is both just how modern and old fashioned it feels at the same time. Positioning itself as a reinvention of the franchise, it clearly has the space to be something different – it’s just surprising that there isn’t enough there to make the movie stand out from the scantily clad crowd!

Coming in at the 2 hour mark (which is exactly 30 minutes longer than it really should be), the story follows the Angels as they fight to recover a stolen piece of tech, known as Calisto. Hailed as the solution to clean, sustainable energy, the device is soon stolen, weaponized and turned from lifesaver to life ender. From here, it’s up to the Angels to hunt the device down and recover it from villainy, while making new friends along the way.

Trying way too hard to be relevant today and pay homage to the past is pretty much the keystone in the films failure. From the moment the Angels are introduced, the film does little to convince us it’s anything more than an aged tribute act masquerading as a refreshing reboot. 

The plot is equal parts predictable as it is incredibly convoluted. With more twists than a yoga retreat, it ties itself in so many knots, it makes a lot of the film feel irrelevant by the time the story crosses the finish line. This lack of imagination goes even further as the set pieces fall into the cliché, lacking the irony and witty dialogue to subvert expectations and tell something fresh for audiences to get invested in.

In terms of action, it’s a real mash up of broken editing and feeble choreography. While there is some fun to be had in the limestone quarry (about the halfway mark), every other sequence is a mess of unintelligible cuts and odd camera angles. The result is that you can never quite keep up with what’s happening, a constant blur that’s more headache inducing than exhilarating. Given how far the action genre has come in the last few years – The Raid, James Bond and John Wick franchises, to name a few – it feels like a step back to when action was nothing more than vomit inducing.

The most disappointing part of the whole experience however if just how disposable it is. On paper, there was certainly potential for the franchise to be born again under a different guise. The problem is that it never quite breaks the shackles of the Angels history long enough to tell something relevant today.

Charlie’s Angels is in cinemas now!

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