Cinematic Releases: Angels for A New Day: Charlie's Angels (2019) - Reviewed

It seems that every few years someone tries to reboot or relaunch the decades old Charlie's Angels brand. Some have succeeded and some have failed. But one thing is for sure. They need to keep attempting these comebacks, even if they fail financially. 

Luckily for movie goers and fans of unadulterated cinematic fun, this latest incarnation of the Angels is a simple action flick that's a call back to better times in the theater when we could just go, kick our feet up, and leave our troubles at the door. And anyone that calls this a "woke" version of the franchise has simply never seen any version of Charlie's Angels. This has always been about strong women kicking ass and taking names. And it's just as relevant as it was back in 1976 when the original television show first aired. This idea of attaching a term to define a movie about powerful ladies is simply tired and aimlessly sexist. From the onset, the show that ran from 1976-1981 also put beautiful women in charge and never ceased to tell us that women are just as powerful as their male counterparts. 

While many are casting doubt on this Elizabeth Banks directed feature based on what it's doing at the box office, it was time to check it out for myself. Setting all preconceived notions and past iterations at the entry way, it was time to see exactly what has become of the Angels and their tactics. With this 2019 film, Banks and company were very smart. Instead of separating themselves from the existing material, they make this all part of the same continuity. The television series and movies from the early 2000's exist here, making this another extension of both. And yes, there are cameos. And it works seamlessly with almost no effort whatsoever. Banks takes absolute control of this intellectual property and runs with it, full throttle, making it her own as she pays respect to what has already been done. 

Okay. This movie is going to flop big time.
But we rule anyways. Got it?

As Banks was busy shredding her directorial duties with her multitudes of talents in front of and behind the camera, her new onscreen trifecta of talent totally destroys our expectations. Instead of relying heavily on A-List celebrity actors this time, Banks instead uses the captivating Kristen Stewart to full effect. She's shamelessly good here. She has a swagger and physicality that works tirelessly to put her in control in all situations. Relative newcomer Ella Balinska holds down the fort by showing off her never ending athletic skill set. And damn, Naomi Scott is just a shining star. She's not been in much but the mixture of her dizzying style and her command of the screen is relentless. The three of them in cahoots drips pure dynamism. 

Going into this one with my head held low, it was a pure shock to the system to see the three main players turn what could have been a complete bomb into one of the better espionage movies of 2019. Where the former films felt like they were tongue in cheek satire of the TV series, this rendition of Charlie's Angels gets that high pitched action mixed with a bit of humor, then spins it on its side to give us some great technology talk and brutal hand to hand combat. I'm sure it won't get a sequel considering the terrible box office. It's just really too bad we won't see these ladies kicking ass on screen together again. Their chemistry is impeccable. 

This latest update of the Angels did not deserve to get buried by poor marketing. While people were busy worrying that this new trio wouldn't live up to their namesake, they surpassed all preconceived assumptions about this really good movie. 

-Chris George