Before watching the movie:
Action. Comedy. Probably little to do with the TV series, but attached to one anyway. Angels.
Apparently the martial arts angle is an addition to the TV series. Having only been exposed to promos for the movies and that famous bathing suit photo of Farrah Fawcett, fighting is an integral part of my understanding of the show. Not that watching the movie is going to help me understand what else there was (probably espionage infiltrations).
After watching the movie:
A mysterious millionaire (billionaire?) runs a private covert agency with three beautiful women; Natalie, Dylan, and Alex; for agents. Along with their handler Bosley, they take private clients and do secret agent missions. When Eric Knox is kidnapped and his voice recognition software is stolen, his business partner turns to Charlie and his Angels for help. In order to rescue Knox and recover the stolen software, the Angels have to infiltrate and hack Knox’s rival company, but find a bigger plan is at work.
I still can’t imagine the TV show without a few punches and high kicks, but however much this film added, the update for modern audiences is effective. On the other hand, I’m not a great fan of extensive action sequences, because for me it stops being “cool stunts” and starts being “keep track of everybody”.
I was surprised at how much Bosley is involved. When I heard “Bill Murray is Bosley”, I thought “oh, very nice. Have a little extended cameo to send the Angels on their mission.” From what I understand of the show, most episodes but not all were more or less that, but it’s nice to see his enjoyable role factoring in more on the big screen. I got a good sense of each Angel’s personality, and thought they played well.
While each of them have a relationship subplot, none of them really get closure on it. Natalie’s new boyfriend is last seen calling her in the middle of a fight ten seconds before her phone is destroyed, Dylan manipulates the lame guy she was with at the beginning and is betrayed by a major character (okay, she gets to beat him up), and Alex wants to confess about her secret life to her actor boyfriend, but is last seen leaving him with a shot up trailer home and no time for explanation. But nevermind all that, the epilogue is entirely focused on the Angels’ relationship with Charlie.
Explosions. Martial arts. Pretty girls. Technology. Jokes. Nostalgia, possibly. When decently executed, all the makings of a fun blockbuster flick, and this one fits the bill.
Watch this movie: if any of the above list appeals to you.
Don’t watch this movie: if the comedy and karate ruin your nostalgia.