Charlie’s Angels - I’m Bosley, you’re Bosley and it’s ok
3 out of 5
Elizabeth Banks has brought us a film we never knew we wanted, a film that is a reboot of a reboot of a 1970’s TV show that was arguably the first ever primetime outing for Girl Power. Banks has penned the screenplay and also directs and stars - so her heart and soul is in this.
This is the first screen-outing for the Angels in sixteen years. I went in having read many, many sniffy reviews so expectations were set to low, very low. I’m pleased to say it’s ok. It’s not a masterpiece, the script could be tightened up and the initial narrative is a bit disjointed but the stars, Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Ballinska and Elizabeth Banks herself bring so much energy and fun to the whole project that I found myself enjoying it. This is better than the previous McG cinematic adaptations. It has some of the charm of the original TV series (yes, I am that old). Elizabeth Banks has kept a lot of the essential elements. They bring familiarity and yet, this film could have stood on its own merits without the Angels tag, the Charles Townsend Agency or Bosley(s).
From its original inception, Charlie's Angels always provided security and investigative skills to private clients, and now, in this film, the Townsend Agency has expanded internationally, with the smartest, most fearless, most highly trained women all over the globe - multiple teams of Angels guided by multiple Bosleys taking on the toughest jobs across the world. When a young systems engineer blows the whistle on a dangerous technology, these Angels are called into action, putting their lives on the line to protect us all.
The multiple Bosleys took me a while to get used to. It just didn’t make sense. Apparently it’s a rank? Who knew? That together with a plot that involves something that has been invented to produce clean energy but could be weaponised or something, anyway who cares. There are baddies to be beaten up, secure installations to be broken into and parties to attend. Patrick Stewart turns up as a retiring Bosley. I have to say, even as a fan of Patrick Stewart, he’s looking a little frail - and the last button on his waist-coat was closed - an obvious wardrobe malfunction!
There are twists and turns a-plenty and enough exotic locations to tick all the spy/thriller boxes. The action sequences are well executed and I have to say Kirsten Stewart looks like she is having a lot of fun and flirting with everyone - it seems. There is a 12A certificate on this due to the violence and sexy overtones - nothing overt, just lots of fun.
This is not as bad as you’ve heard. I’ll say that again. This is not as bad as you’ve heard. If you’re looking for a way to pass a couple of hours watching a girl-power thriller with good locations and plenty of action, then there are worse things you could do. Stay for the end credits as there are many cameos from ex-Angels, which was a delight to see. Watch out for Jaclyn Smith (Kelly Garrett in the original TV show), Laverne Cox (as a bomb instructor), Danica Patrick (retired Indy car racer, now Angel trainer) and U.S. Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman is also an Angel recruit, Chloe Kim (US Olympic snowboarder). They were the ones I spotted, but there were more. I’d like to have seen some of these scenes in the body of the film itself. It would have given it more heart. And I suppose that’s what’s missing. There is no heart. Kirsten Stewart’s character comes closest. What these cameos and end-credit scenes did do was to remind me of The Kingsmen and maybe that will be the sequel? A film about recruiting and training Angels might be a good thing.
It’s fun. It’s frothy. It’s instantly forgettable. It’s a good popcorn movie.