(Minor Spoilers Ahead)
After being overloaded with some heavy handed #MeToo dialogue in the first 10 minutes or so, the movie actually settles in and managed to produce some fun moments.
I actually love how this movie ties all version of Charlie’s Angels from the 1970s TV series to the 2000s movies. As a bonus, it also somehow manages to connect all those elements to… Good Morning America host, Michael Strahan. Kudos to Elizabeth Banks (who wrote the screenplay). It makes a lot of sense and it was actually pretty cool.
The plot involves an electronic device that can provide clean power to the world, but can also be turned into a weapon. Elena Houghlin (Naomi Scott) is a whistleblower that alerted the Angels of the imminent danger; and together they aim to make sure that the device doesn’t fall into the hands of evil men. (Somehow these short-sighted men think that selling this device as a weapon is more profitable than mass producing it.)
Unfortunately, most of the goodwill that the movie manages to accumulate up to that point is ruined by getting rid of Djimon Honsou (as Edgar Bosley) unceremoniously way too early; and by Sabina Wilson (Kristen Stewart), who is actually trying very hard to be a fun, happy-go–lucky badass. Unfortunately she’s bogged down by some of the most horrible, unfunny lines in the movie.
The break out star in this movie is Ella Balinska (as Jane Kano), who managed to stay the course as a very strong, smart, and charismatic character. She is nearly human in a movie full of caricatures. Balinska also had real chemistry with nerdy Noah Centineo (as Langston) and I wish the movie featured more of them.
Naomi Scott fulfilled her role as the wide eyed vixen whose eagerness is just tiresome. Her shallow cliché of a character is used to handhold the audience through the convoluted and nonsensical storyline and move the plot along.
This could have been a total romp of a movie, with great set pieces and stunts. However, the action scenes are too chopped up – instead of showing some of the more intense action scenes in all its glory, it goes for a close-up of each character whenever they have a dialogue during those scenes. It awkwardly pulls you out of the (supposedly) intense scene.
It’s a pity that there isn’t the courage to create a more daring “twist” in the movie. Personally I felt that it was one of the biggest missteps in this entire movie. The “twist” was so obvious halfway through the movie that it ruined the payoff at the end. So, instead of a really surprising twist, the movie goes for the obvious, which is (spoiler or maybe not much of a spoiler) basically that all the men in the movie are evil sexist pigs.