Firstly let me state that yes, I’m a man and I know this film wasn’t really aimed at me. I totally understand why this film needed to be made, not that it needs validation from me as a man but that’s the point- it’s been a male-dominated world for too long and a change is long overdue.
However, I also happen to be a Charlie’s Angels fan from the 1970s and in this instance, its as a fan that I write this piece.
The show from the 70s was fun but it was far from perfect. It could be a bit cheesy, but then what 70s show wasn’t? It upset a lot of TV execs (99% male if I recall) who were worried that a show with three female leads would flop. Well, 5 seasons of the show proved them wrong as did all the merchandise that was sold. Toy cars, annuals, books dolls, lots of different items. I still have some of the books, annuals and toy car from back then.
If you want to learn a bit about the history of the show click here for my previous post.
As I got older there was one thing that bothered me about the show and, if I’m honest, the 2000 and 2003 movies. If I look back now as a proud Uncle to a very strong-willed niece (who is a recent recruit to The Royal Air Force Cadets, and would make a great Angel) I notice it even more.
That one thing that bothers me is the character of John Bosley.
I can see I may get a lot of hate from other fans of the show because David Doyle was such a loved character so let me clear one thing up:- I’m not attacking David Doyle or John Bosley the character. I’m questioning the need for the character in the first place, or should I say the need for the character to be male. Back in the 70s it would have been unthinkable to have three females doing their thing without support from a man.
Elizabeth Banks’ film deals with that very issue.
I’m not saying that this film is male free, it’s not. But what we don’t have is a man in EVERY position of power or leadership.
Sir Patrick Stewart plays the original John Bosley and lots of the images used from past films and show episodes have been photo-shopped to include Sir Pat rather than Doyle or Bill Murray. This isn’t intended as an insult as some fans have said, its purely for continuity. It would look strange having photos of Doyle and Murray and have us believe Sir Pat is the same person!
Anyway, on to the film itself… will try to keep it short and spoiler free as much as possible.
The Townsend Agency has gone global with offices all around the world and the name ‘Bosley’ has now become a rank within the organisation. Rebekah (Elizabeth Banks) is a former Angel who has been promoted to Bosley. John Bosley (Sir Pat) is set to retire after 40 years of working for Charlie.
The film starts with a group of Angels including Sabina Wilson (Kristen Stewart) and Jane Kano (Ella Balinska) taking down an international smuggler and turn him over to law enforcement. Interestingly, the bad guy in this scene wasn’t attracted to Sabina in the usual “I wanna jump your bones” way that men are portrayed, rather that he was attracted to her because she could literally kick the crap out of him as well as being strong and independent! Nice twist!
One year later, computer programme and general nerd, Elena Houghlin, wants to spill the beans on her boss Alexander Brock (Sam Clafin) who is developing an energy conservation device that has a severe flaw- it can trigger fatal seizures in anyone too near. A flaw that Brock wants kept quiet!
Elena contacts the European office of The Townsend Agency which soon has her linked up with Sabina and Jane along with Rebekah Bosley. In an effort to stop Brock, the Angels attempt to break in and steal a device but they are double-crossed by someone within the agency.
The race is then on to keep the weapons out of the wrong hands, stop Brock and uncover the traitor within the organisation!
The three leads are all very different but equally as awesome.
Kristen Stewart’s Sabina Wilson is the spoilt rich kid who became a rebellious, law-breaking teen before becoming an Angel.
Jane Kano, played by Ella Balinska, is an ex-MI6 agent who will hurt you with a glance. She also comes across as slightly nerdy and awkward in social situations.
Finally, Elena Houghlin’s highly-intelligent science and computer nerd who has a serious daredevil streak is wonderfully played by Naomi Scott.
Elizabeth Banks’ Bosley is as equally awesome as the main three. As an former Angel who got promoted she is also able to kick-ass when needed!
There are lots of great moments in this film but there are two that stand out for me.
The first is when Sabina is about to get into a fight- she walks up to her adversary and says “It takes a man 7 seconds longer to perceive a woman as a threat” before knocking him flat!
The second shows that women can make silly and stupid mistakes just like most men do daily- Elena uses a small knockout patch on a bad guy but uses it back-to-front and knocks herself out. See, men don’t own the right to making dumb errors!
Its a movie definitely worth seeing. Great fun from start to finish with enough laughs and action to keep anyone happy. Its a must for this holiday period and if there are any females in your family that need a boost or to see strong, independent women then this is the film. Hopefully I can get my niece to see it!
I do have one plea for Elizabeth Banks:- If there is a sequel, and I really hope there is
Can we please have Hailee Steinfeld as a fully fledged Angel? She’s an awesome actress! Loved her in Bumblebee!
There are quite a few cameos in the film and a number of mid-credit scenes so wait until the very end.