New Charlie's Angels

New Charlie’s Angels Trailer Makes Me Think I Will Watch This Film on an Airplane One Day

But hey, Patrick Stewart!
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Do you ever watch a trailer and think to yourself, “Wow, I will maybe watch this movie one day on an airplane”? That’s my immediate reaction to the latest trailer for the upcoming Charlie’s Angels.

As our Princess Weekes wrote back in June with a previous trailer release, we wish we could be more enthusiastic about this Charlie’s Angels go-round. However, “there’s also just something really uninspiring about doing a Charlie’s Angels movie in 2019. The franchise was, in many ways, a trope maker, and a lot of the things about it have just grown beyond itself,” Princess noted, and I had the same reaction watching the updated trailer. I’m not sure what’s new or exciting here save the laudable diversity of the cast.

To be clear, nothing looks terrible and unwatchable about Charlie’s Angels, but it doesn’t set off a fire under me to seek out this movie prior to its availability on an airplane. The best thing that emerges from seeing more above is that the casting of both lead roles and supporting players is wonderfully diverse. In terms of moving action movies forward into 2019, that’s fantastic.

There’s also something to be said about the fact that the most buzz and chatter around this film I’ve witnessed seems to be expressed by WLW communities. That’s important, and I’m thrilled to see widespread excitement from women who can’t wait to watch several gorgeous women kick ass for a couple of hours. There’s no indication from the trailers, however, that we’ll be getting any actual on-screen queer representation, which would be a nice step forward and films like Atomic Blonde have already taken on. If it’s present and is being held as some sort of reveal, I’m not sure why that’s the case.

Because everything else we see here feels like well-trod ground. It’s no longer enough to simply put women into action-adventure scenarios and have that be revelatory. We need more movies starring women to be breaking molds and form, or at least making a gesture towards originality. This film conveys a sort of cartoony, uninspired feel that makes me feel tired. I’m getting Men In Black: International vibes and that’s one of the most unfortunate things I can say about a trailer.

Perhaps unfair to include alongside the trailer, but more than a little blah, is this recent hackneyed music video for a song from Charlie’s Angels starring Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, and a sleepwalking Lana Del Rey. “It’s the most 1997 thing imaginable,” observed our Vivian Kane, which felt perfectly on the mark. If this is the sort of tenor they’re going after with related, expensive music video tie-ins, it’s hard to hope for much on the big screen.

Of course, I wish no ill will on anyone involved with this endeavor, and I’d love to be wrong, and have my socks knocked off by the new Charlie’s Angels. We have few enough female written, female-directed (Elizabeth Banks, both times herein) and female-centric big movies. And the cast is pretty damned fantastic all across the board.

Having Patrick Stewart appear as one of the Bosleys who leads a team of Angels is also an inspired bit of casting, because I will generally follow Patrick Stewart into a burning building. It remains to be seen whether that building will be a cinema after all.

(image: Sony)

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Kaila Hale-Stern
Kaila Hale-Stern (she/her) is a content director, editor, and writer who has been working in digital media for more than fifteen years. She started at TMS in 2016. She loves to write about TV—especially science fiction, fantasy, and mystery shows—and movies, with an emphasis on Marvel. Talk to her about fandom, queer representation, and Captain Kirk. Kaila has written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.