Charlie's Angels has always been a male gaze fantasy couched in faux female empowerment.
Unfortunately, the new Charlie's Angels seems no different. Watch the trailer here:
CHARLIE'S ANGELS - Official Trailer (HD) www.youtube.com
Set to a new collaborative single by Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, and Lana Del Ray with the apt lyrics "Don't call me angel / Don't call me angel," the Charlie's Angels reboot seems hellbent on subverting franchise expectations. But even with a female writer/director (Elizabeth Banks), Charlie's Angels can't shed its core premise of a group of cool, badass women ultimately answering to a mysterious man named Charlie. After all, this is CHARLIE'S Angels.
The reboot follows a new group of Angels played by Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska, and Naomi Scott. Bosley is a woman now, played by Elizabeth Banks. And this time, they're going international...or whatever.
In 2019, the concept of Charlie's Angels is extremely outdated. Even if the movie did somehow manage to successfully bring something close to female empowerment to the big screen, it's bothersome that in our wildest fantasies, we still can't imagine a world where these "Angels" don't work for Charlie––or where Ella Balinska's midriff is bared for the "plot." Even if the mysterious Charlie turned out to be a woman using a codename, it wouldn't change the movie's real selling point: "badass" sexy women performing for an intended male audience. Retire this franchise.