Black Panther and Wonder Woman are publicly acclaimed as two of the most female-empowering films movies of recent cinematic history. This is because the construct of femininity and the empowerment of the female characters were not forced upon the audience. In these movies, the fact that the warriors were female was not overly highlighted and instead the films simply showed women as beautiful, strong, and independent. They also showed them fighting against their male counterparts as equals, creating a world where masculinity and femininity are essentially equal.
Now, let’s get back to the present with Charlie’s Angels. Many people were looking forward to a Charlie’s Angels reboot as a chance to highlight the strides of female empowerment – particularly to capture how far we’ve come since the last movie. The film now had two minority Angels and a female engineer, which offered new role models for little girls to look up to and a new perspective on female empowerment. However, the film fell way short of empowering women. Instead of creating strong characters, the movie focused on making the males dumber and less weak.
Not only were the characters sub-par, but the comedy was a huge miss. I probably laughed once throughout the entire movie. Also, the comedy came at the expense of female empowerment, which felt very odd for a film that was trying to raise it. Kristen Stewart’s character, Sabina Wilson, a ditsy woman hidden behind a badass façade, was tasked with delivering a majority of the bad jokes and one-liners. The men in the film came up with the rest of the bad jokes – basically playing up masculine stereotypes and playing dumb to make the female leads seem stronger.
The film did provide a lot of car chases, bad guy battles, and the typical spy movie clichés. These action scenes basically made the movie and made up for most of the poor character development and the abundance of unfunny one-liners. The film was also filled with a lot of twists and turns at the end of the movie. However, these all seemed to be jam-packed into 20 minutes of the film and it was pretty obvious to figure out the surprise endings pretty early on in the film if you’ve seen any spy movie ever.
All in all, the film tried to take on too much and instead failed to master any element of humor, storyline, character development, or creating any feel-good emotions. It’s a good movie to watch if you’ve got nothing else going on, but it’s definitely not something to write home about.
The film centers around Elena Houghlin, an engineer who decides to blow the whistle on her company’s newly created and dangerous technology. As the leaders of her company attempt to weaponize the object, Elena must team up with the Charlie’s Angels to keep it out of the wrong hands. Throughout the journey, the Angels go down a roller coaster of twists and turns and learn a little bit about themselves that they didn’t know before.
Ultimately, the plot was created in order to pack the movie with a lot of action scenes. Therefore, Charlie’s Angels had a lot of the typical spy movie fight scenes that one would generally love to see in an action movie. However, these scenes also tended to repeat themselves. We found ourselves alongside the Angels in many car scenes and failed attempts to catch the bad guy. Although they were interesting the first couple of times, the repetitive and very cliché scenes got old halfway through the movie.
In my opinion, the filmed lacked a lot of emotional value. The movie made a point to try and give the Angels something to overcome; however, each of these obstacles were very unoriginal. The characters also had very little character development which made it hard for us to connect with their emotions or character arc. I remember one scene in particular where one of the Angels was crying, and the small hints of “humor” and the lack of the character’s backstory made it very hard to take seriously.
All in all, I would give Charlies Angels a 4 out of 10. If you’re looking for an action movie with very cliché elements, then this would be a good movie to rent when it comes out of theater. Other than the action, the film simply failed to deliver on its emotional value, humor, or story line. It also fell short of delivering the scenes of female-empowerment that many were looking forward to.