“Charlie’s Angels”: A Fresh Outlook on an Outdated Story


Charlotte Clarke, Graphics Editor

The Charlie’s Angels saga continues as the story depicted in the former hit television show of the 70’s and film, “Charlie’s Angels” (2000) was recreated in its third installment. Released on Nov. 15, “Charlie’s Angels” welcomes a new era of angels: Sabina (Kristen Stewart), Elena (Naomi Scott) and Jane (Ella Balinska). What was once a one-dimensional storyline is taken to a deeper level, as the film reflects an overall empowering feminist message that is inspiring to young girls everywhere.

Critics of the original film had complained that the story lacked originality, something the new “Charlie’s Angels” film received no backlash for. Although it is still a recreation, this film was able to modernize to appeal to the masses. Scott’s character, Elena, is the lead programmer on a project named Calisto, a product which intends to revolutionize the power industry. However, it has security issues and possesses the ability to be weaponized if it falls into the wrong hands. Elena is recruited to join the angels and joins Sabina and Jane led by Bosley (Elizabeth Banks) to retrieve it before chaos occurs. 

Banks did not only play a major acting role in the film, but is responsible for the majority of the  project. Banks is credited with the writing and directing of the film, which is a new aspect for the franchise, as it is the first time that a woman is in charge of making the decisions. This provides for a new outlook on roles which used to be written from the male perspective, often being oversexualized. Banks is able to turn characters who were originally tailored to male expectations into strong feminist role models. 

The subtle instances of sexism portrayed in the film relate to the problems and discrimination that many women face today. For example, Scott’s character struggles with recognition in the workplace as her condescending boss dismisses her intelligence, although she is the lead programmer on Calisto and an M.I.T graduate.  These moments take “Charlie’s Angels” to the next level, as they resonate with women in the audience. By providing the necessary depth to touch upon the lives of real people, “Charlie’s Angels” is a film that will be remembered.

Despite the empowering message and A-list casting, the “Charlie’s Angels” reboot was not a hit in regards to box office sales. The movie opened grossing $8.6 million which was concerningly low considering the budget of the movie was $48 million. Regardless of the box office disappointment, Banks is still proud of the film as she believes its message is the most important aspect. In an interview with The Atlantic, Banks stated, “‘Charlie’s Angels’ is about teamwork among women.  It’s about collaboration, it’s about sisterhood, it’s about the bigger ideas that women require to get by in the world today, and it’s about how we do things in reaction to how men do things.”

Whether people enjoy or despise the movie, there is no denying its relevance to society, as it provides an inspiring message for everyone. In changing the narrative of a story previously tailored to men by creating important heroines, this “Charlie’s Angels” is a fresh outlook on an outdated story.