It’s finally here! The latest instalment in the seemingly never ending Charlie’s Angels saga is released in the UK this week, and surprisingly, despite its flimsy and borderline lazy premise, it is in fact far sassier and more fun than anyone had bargained for.
Directed by Elisabeth Banks (Pitch Perfect 2), who also stars in it alongside Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott (Aladdin) and Ella Balinska, the film, just like its predecessors, leans heavily on comedy and action to tell a fairly inconsequential story. The difference here is that its stars are, luckily for us, only too aware of its shortcomings.
When Elena Houghlin (Naomi Scott), a young systems engineer blows the whistle on a dangerous new project she’s been working on, she enlists the help of the Angels agency in the hope of stopping the device from being released to the general public. Soon the young women finds herself the target of a dangerous assassin (Jonathan Tucker) hired to stop her form talking.
With the help of new angels Sabina (Kristen Stewart), Jane (Ella Balinska) and their new handler Bosley (Elisabeth Banks), the young woman must find a way of convincing her wealthy boss Alexander Brock (a hugely entertaining turn courtesy of Sam Claflin) not to go ahead with the plan.
All hell breaks loose when it transpires that there might be a mole at the Angels organisation who’s been working hard to derail the girls’ mission. With the action transported to Turkey, the Angels must come face to face with a gang of dangerous criminals before the device falls in the wrong hands.
Director Elisabeth Banks presents a fairly stale narrative and premise which fails to move the franchise beyond what we’ve seen until now. Having said that, the film does have moments of pure physical comedy and more than a couple of decent gags.
With more cameos than you can shake a stick at, the film appears to be perhaps too eager to wallow in its own folklore and iconic status. In reality it is the latest recruits who really give this latest instalment the edge it needed not to be a complete and utter misfire.
Stewart is hugely likeable here as the Tomboyish mischief-maker Sabina, while Sam Claflin puts in a hilarious turn as duplicitous little rich boy Alexander Brock. Elsewhere, Scott and Balinska give two solid performances, while Banks is the glue that keeps the whole team perfectly together.
This is flimsly handled, yet robustly acted action adventure, which while adding absolutely nothing new to the franchise, still manages to raise a few laughs throughout. There is also a strong feminist thread running through its, albeit, deeply predictable narrative. A passable addition to an already moribund fanachise.