The Woketards have destroyed the Charlie’s Angels franchise, just like they did Ghostbusters, Terminator, and Men in Black.
We now have four lucrative franchises that were originally created to appeal to everyone — men, women, young, old… Then the strident feminists goosestepped in, took over, and abused their power to exclude men, demean men, humiliate and mock men. And each time, the result is the same: box office catastrophe, the death of a golden goose franchise.
Based on a dismal opening night, and the fact that at the first screening of Charlie’s Angels in my local theater I was the only person there (something that hasn’t happened to me in 30 years), it seems safe to predict director-screenwriter Elizabeth Banks has doomed her Angels to box office oblivion.
Whether you are talking about the iconic television show that ran for five seasons starting in 1976, or the pair of Angels films (2000 and 2003) that starred Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, and Cameron Diaz, the idea had been to entertain everyone.
1) Men enjoyed the action scenes and the sex appeal that comes with gazing upon stunningly beautiful women who love to showcase their effect on men.
2) Women enjoyed the wish-fulfillment of watching other women kick ass, solve crimes, join a sisterhood, get pampered by Charlie, and wear all the latest fashions.
The Feminist Woketards have decreed that number one, the “male gaze,” is now “problematic” and therefore a Thoughtcrime, and what we will be punished with is the joyless, preachy, unimaginative death march that is Charlie’s Angels (2019).
The opening credits serve as a warning: a sanctimonious montage of empowered teen and pre-teen girls doing science and sports and stuff… As this was unfurling before me, I quickly prayed for at least one shot of a woman vacuuming or ironing or bringing her man a beer in a bikini — something, anything that would reassure or surprise me, something that said, Don’t worry, this is going to be fun.
Charlie’s Angels isn’t about fun. Instead, it’s about cheap, unearned cheer moments, about preaching to a choir that hasn’t smiled since Anita Hill was proven a liar.
And then there’s the movie’s opening scene where Androgynous Bisexual Angel (Kristen Stewart) kicks a sexist pig’s ass while lecturing us about how “Women can do anything.” Soon she’s joined by Diversity Hire Angel (Ella Balinsk). Although together they weigh less than 89 pounds, both are able to take down more than a dozen 200 pound bodyguards.
This $55 million piece of exhausting garbage delivers 119 minutes of insufferable GRRRRRL power cheese… And other than one somewhat clever scene involving a wig, nothing works. Forget the ham-handed man-hating… Nothing, and I mean nothing works.
Unlike the series and the previous movie adaptations, the three leads have no charisma and absolutely no chemistry. Not for a moment do you buy the relationships or that there is a growing camaraderie. And then there are the so-called plot twists. I don’t want to give too much away, but once you realize how hostile this movie is towards men, the outcome is about as surprising as Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign.
If all of that is not unappealing enough, the plot involves *yawn* clean energy and the fate of the world.
Worse still, this is a bit of an origin tale. For some reason, even though this franchise is pushing 50, even though there have been two movies, two television shows (a failed 2011 reboot) and even an animated version in 2003, Naomi Scott is brought on as the audience surrogate to justify a ton of unnecessary exposition.
Naturally, there has to be world building in the hopes of an eventual Angels Cinematic Universe, so what had been the story of three women working out of a local detective agency managed by a sweet and protective Uncle figure named Bosley, is now a worldwide superspy organization managed by a “Bosley,” so now women can be Bosleys too!
Banks is basically remaking Kingsman, but a tedious, joyless, colorless, direct-to-video version of Kingsman that leaps all over the globe but still manages to make every city look like every other city. The cinematography is shockingly dull, as are the so-called action sequences, which confuse quick cuts with excitement.
I know I’m not supposed to say this, but Banks is a terrible action director. She’s no Kathryn Bigelow. You can hardly tell what’s going on, who is where, how an unarmed, 45-pound girl dropped a trained, 220-pound armed man on his back. And when Banks cuts in-between simultaneous action scenes hoping we’ll hold our breath as Diversity Hire Angel tries to fight the patriarchy in time to save Androgynous Bisexual Angel from a shredder, you just… Man alive, it’s just so bad, so inept, so mishandled.
You know, earlier this week I saw (and reviewed) Harriet, a rousing, inspiring movie about escaped-slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman; the true story of a woman — a strong, capable, righteous black woman, who took charge of men, who shamed men for their inaction, who led men into battle during the Civil War… And not for one moment did I feel insulted, demeaned, excluded, or talked down to as I was manspreading in my seat. What I did feel, though, was awe, respect, admiration, and the pleasure that comes with discovering a new hero.
You see, it can be done, and Harriet managed to do it with a third of the money wasted by Elizabeth Banks.
Charlie’s Angels (2019) is deliberately divisive and the product of an insecure woman who doesn’t have the confidence in herself, or her targeted audience, to make her point without a ham hand, without lecturing us using cartoonish male characters, sexless female characters, and thuddingly bad dialogue…
STUPID SPOILER ALERT…
By the time Banks revealed that Charlie is really a woman using a man’s voice, my boredom and frustration turned to pity. To be handed a beloved franchise and $50 million, and then bungle it because you confused your own touchy neuroses with inspiration…