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Maybe if the new Charlie’s Angels movie were less “woke,” “gender fluid,” and fixated on “climate change,” it might have made some money like the old Charlie’s Angels movie

November 19, 2019
Charlie’s Angels (2000), reviewed by Todd McCarthy for Variety:
“Never send a man to do a woman’s job,” growls a leatherclad wildcat as she heads off to kick some butt in “Charlie’s Angels,” and it’s a remark that pretty much sums up the sassy chickpic appeal of this rambunctious, high-octane, latex-thin contempo take on one of the ’70s’ most popular television series. Packed with action, attitude, skin-tight costumes and enough dazzling white smiles and slo-mo hair flips for a season’s worth of toothpaste and shampoo commercials, this entertaining confection possesses the substance of the TV show, the pacing of a Hong Kong actioner and the production values of a James Bond thriller….
As it was with Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith and Kate Jackson (and, later, Cheryl Ladd, Shelley Hack and Tanya Roberts) on TV from 1976-81, the babes are the thing here, and it will be the rare viewer, male and female, who won’t enjoy the sheer visual and visceral pleasure of watching Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu strut, slink, kick, dance and vamp their way through this splashy femme empowerment fantasy….

Nor does it take long for the first-time feature director known as McG (a commercials and music video whiz kid) to announce that he has no intention of presenting a single shot that doesn’t provoke some kind of special surface stimulation.

In this he is greatly aided by Diaz, Barrymore and Liu who appear, respectively, as Natalie, Dylan and Alex, three young ladies who are not only gorgeous, sexy and fun but can do just about anything except find men who are anywhere near their level….

Charlie’s Angels (2019), reviewed by Peter Travers for Rolling Stone:

It’s hard not to appreciate the feminist, Time’s Up spark that director-producer-writer-actor Elizabeth Banks brings to material that has long passed its sell-by date.

Charlie’s Angels 2019, a globe-trotting puff of escapism, should be the nail in the coffin. That it isn’t exactly is due to Banks and her crew of woke Angels. Kristen Stewart, happily flexing her fun muscles after heavy lifting on the indie circuit, plays Sabina, a New York heiress who trades in indolence for kicking ass. “Women can do everything,” says Sabina in the rousing opening line from a film that celebrates girl power from first moment to last. Sabina is also gender fluid, which creates sexual tension with fellow Angel and frenemy Jane (a vibrant Ella Balinska), a former MI-6 agent who thinks Sabina is a loose cannon. They’re both held in check by Bosley, played with just the right notes of mischief and mystery by Banks, an underrated actress (see Love & Mercy and The Hunger Games) who improves every movie she’s in. In the new Angels universe, Bosley is more a title (like Lieutenant) than a character….

Good on Banks for obliterating the infamous “male gaze” in favor of something less sexist and jiggle obsessed. And for a plot, developed by Banks from a story by Evan Spiliotopoulos and David Auburn (the Pulitzer-prize winning playwright of Proof), Banks takes on the hot-button issue of climate change….

Opening weekend box office for Charlie’s Angels (2000): $40 million.

Opening weekend box office for Charlie’s Angels (2019): $8.6 million.

Director Banks says the reason her gender-fluid, non-male gazing, climate change-focused flick flopped is because men “don’t go see women do action movies.”

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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