Charlie’s Angels

Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska and Naomi Scott star in Charlie's Angels.

Everyone thought last year’s A Wrinkle in Time would remain the standard for tortured attempts by terrified critics to rationalize praising a crappy movie – with director Ava DuVernay ending up with the honor of the Most “Well-Intentioned” Film of the Decade. Now we get to enjoy Charlie’s Angels tormenting critics who have to put a positive spin on the kind of disaster everyone expected from the excellent big-screen Angels of 2000. There’ll probably be a lot of praise for “over the top fun” that’s painfully pale when compared to an honestly carefree popcorn movie like Hobbs & Shaw. The only true high point is Kristen Stewart spending the entire movie doing an Ellen DeGeneres impersonation. Sadly, her sardonically super she-spy isn’t the main focus in introducing the audience to an extended international army of Angels (and their battalion of Bosleys). That’s left to Naomi Scott as the corporate whistleblower who gets the ladies traveling the world in pursuit of a convoluted plot that constantly screws up the pacing. The character also helps ruin the movie by suddenly displaying her own martial arts skills. That’s before a perfectly banal final act that adds up to a series of gifs. None of this can match the Angels of 2000 – but at least the movie can’t be as disappointing as 2003’s Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.

[PG-13]