Once upon a time, there were three little girls who went to the Police Academy. And so begins Charlie’s Angels, the hit 1970s TV show that tackled issues of sexism and feminism long before they came to the forefront. Following three former police officers run out of law enforcement due to a stronger sense of morals (I mean, it was the 70s) and an offensively indefinite desk duty assignment, they soon find themselves working for an eccentric billionaire who founded a private investigation/super spy organization. The franchise has inspired spinoffs and remakes and a semi-popular (if entirely campy) early aughts film series starring Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and Drew Barrymore. And with more studios realizing that women actually see movies after hits like Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel, we’re seeing the smart, sexy, stylish, badass women on the big screen once again – this time directed by Elizabeth Banks. And as we can see from the first trailer, she’s definitely got a vision for how this film should look.
Thanks to the success of Charles Townsend’s teams, from Jill Munroe to Dylan Sanders, the independent security force has expanded to become a worldwide investigative agency. Women from all over the world are assisted by teams of Bosleys to tackle missions to tough or too risky for international forces to handle. And when a young systems engineer named Elena (Naomi Scott) decides to blow the whistle on a dangerous tech company, she will soon find herself caught up with agents Sabina Wilson (Kristen Stewart) and Jane Kano (Ella Balinska). Together, they will form a new team of Angels, assisted by a team of Bosleys: Elizabeth Banks, Patrick Stewart, and Djimon Hounsou.
There’s a lot to take in from this trailer. I love the energy that Stewart, Scott, and Balinska are giving off here, and the use of both the new Ariana Grande/Miley Cyrus/Lana del Rey song (the musical equivalent of the Charlie’s Angels) and Janelle Monáe’s “Make Me Feel” are absolutely solid. It’s just…something feels off here. More off than Men In Black: International, which I may have been the only person to actually like. And I think it’s the script. Looking at the writers, this team includes Banks, Evan Spiliotopoulos, and David Auburn. Banks is an untested writer (albeit a terrifically funny actress), Auburn wrote the terrible The Lake House, and Spiliotopoulos has written bad Disney film after bad Disney film, including most of those direct-to-DVD sequels from the early aughts and the 2017 remake of Beauty and the Beast (which was supposedly so unwatchable that Stephen Chbosky had to step in to rewrite it to reach C+ level). That’s not a great team of writers, and it has me worried about the final product. That being said, it’s an intriguing enough cast and premise, so who am I to judge? Charlie’s Angels will hit theaters November 15th. You can watch the trailer below.