Film in review: “Charlie’s Angels” by Elizabeth Banks


The Winonan’s film reporter rates “Charlie’s Angels” 4.5/5

Madeline Peterson, Film Reviewer

I was intrigued by the new Charlie’s Angels film which was written, directed, and starred in by Elizabeth Banks.

This is because its predecessor that came out in 2000 starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu presented the infamous “Charlie” as a man who uses three gorgeous women to do his dirty work in an excessively sexualized way

However, I was wildly pleased with how the new angels, played by Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska, did not need a man to make their personal lives more interesting, they just needed each other. This was refreshing.

As I said before, the film would not be possible without Elizabeth Banks. She inserts herself into many of her films, such as the Pitch Perfect trilogy. I mean why wouldn’t she; she’s a great actress and it is her film.

Banks wrote this film with female empowerment written all over it. She took a female action franchise made by men littered with the male gaze and changed it into one that maintains the powerful notion that women can do anything men can do, and in this case, do it better.

The film emphasizes that these three women are not the only ones out there. They are not an anomaly. Angels like them are all around the world and collaborate with each other to defeat the bad guy. We need more action films with female leads. It took 17 years for a decent remake of Charlie’s Angels, yet it seems another Spider-Man remake comes out yearly.

Without slow motion hair flipping, tight black leather outfits and incoherent dolly in close ups of their body parts, this film does not allow the male gaze to reach far. These women aren’t controlled by an old millionaire that they’ve never seen. While they still never see Charlie, he gets around three lines of dialogue the entire movie. He is also described more like a father figure than a mysterious old man that watches every move they make. He lets them use their wings and fight and take credit for their own battles even if they do not win every one of them.

I was also impressed by the cast chosen for each role. Kristen Stewart is definitely making a comeback these days and I can finally stop describing her as the girl who played Bella Swan in Twilight. She focused mostly in the indie scene until Charlie’s Angels, which is more blockbuster for her. However, she acts beside a former Disney princess (Scott) and a ninja (Balinska). Why wouldn’t she take the role?

Banks and her team do not waste their time with silly sidekicks to the face and unrealistic jumps across an entire room. The characters utilize the technology and weaponry that exists today or could believably exist today.

These girls are not superheroes. They are just women that landed a sweet gig in international affairs that do include some car chases and bullets to your bulletproof vest.

I would recommend Charlie’s Angels to anyone who wants to see an awesome action film with an incredible score I might add, thanks to the stunning Ariana Grande. I would see this film again just to admire the transformation of women empowerment compared to all its forerunners. 4.5/5