Friday 29 November 2019 4:01 pm

Charlie's Angels review: A fun reboot, despite the ham-fisted subversion of gender roles

Wasn’t there a remake of Charlie’s Angels a few years back, I hear you ask? Well, I regret to inform you that version – featuring Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore – was in fact made two whole decades ago.

So here we are again, with another reboot of the hair-flicking, gun toting 1970s TV show about a trio of lady spies, this time starring Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska and Naomi Scott. They’re out to stop a malign tech company which has created a sort of super-charged, evil Google Home.

It follows the standard action movie formula – all car chases, body doubles and unsubtle product placement. But to its credit the characters are fully-formed, the premise vaguely interesting and the one-liners sharp.

Inevitably, the film has to go out of its way to prove it’s not horribly sexist like the original TV show – and some of its subversions of gender expectations are hilariously ham-fisted, for example when it hints that Charlie, the head honcho who is only ever heard through a speaker, has been a woman with a voice modulator all along.


Stewart stands out as louche heiress-turned-contract-killer Sabina, particularly when she’s riffing with no-nonsense arse-kicker Jane (Balinska). Patrick Stewart also makes an appearance as a retiring Bosley (the generic name for the experienced spies who are sort of the Angels’ line managers) while director Elizabeth Banks plays another, female Bosley.

Ground-breaking it is not. But it is quite a lot of fun.

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