When it was announced that Elizabeth Banks was rebooting the classic Charlie’s Angels franchise the resounding question was “do we really need it?” After watching the wildly entertaining, action-packed, and genuinely hilarious film in a theater filled with cheering and applause the answer is a resounding yes. Written and directed by Banks, starring Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska, and Naomi Scott, the action-comedy takes a tried and tested formula and makes it fresh once again. If there’s any justice in our bland blockbuster-saturated world it’ll spark a whole new era for the fabulous franchise.
If you’ve never watched the iconic ’70s TV show or the multiple movies it inspired, the core concept is simple: a mysterious figure known as Charlie enlists and trains badass women to fight crime in usually ridiculous situations. The newest iteration of the Angels keeps that tradition alive but brings a grounded quality to the storytelling that’ll make it a hit with action fans as well as those looking for some campy nostalgia. Scott plays Elena, a young computer scientist who’s working on a secretive technology known only as Calisto. Seeming to work as a Tesla-inspired wireless energy source, Calisto is going to change the world. But–shock horror!–it can easily be weaponized and when Elena turns whistleblower her whole world is turned upside down as she’s dragged into a spiral of fantastically dressed women and international espionage.