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Film / Charlie's Angels (2019)

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"You are in the presence of angels."
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Charlie's Angels is a 2019 action comedy that serves as a continuation of both the film and TV series. It stars Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska, and Elizabeth Banks, the latter who is also the film's director, writer, and co-producer. Patrick Stewart and Djimon Hounsou, Sam Claflin, and Noah Centineo also star.

Scientist Elena Houglin (Scott) has developed a new kind of technology called Callisto, which can remotely provide clean energy. When she and the tech become targets of a mysterious villain, Angels Sabina Wilson (Stewart) and Jane Kano (Balinska) join forces and recruit Elena to become a new Angel and save the world.

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This film contains examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: Callisto is established as being capable of causing severe seizures in people if within close range. Elena accidentally kills Ralph the security guard when he gets too close to Callisto and doesn't believe her when she tries to warn him.
  • Adaptational Diversity: The first incarnation of the Angels where all three of them are minorities: Jane is black, Elena is Ambiguously Brown (Naomi Scott is half Indian)and Sabina (the only white woman in the trio) is Ambiguously Bi.
  • Adaptational Villainy: John Bosley.
  • Affirmative Action Legacy:
    • Bosley is now a rank for lieutenants in the Townsend Agency, named after Charlie's Number Two John Bosley. The most prominent Bosleys in the movie are a woman and black man. The other Bosleys in the background include men and women from various ethnicities.
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    • The new "Charlie" is a woman who uses voice-changer from her computer to sound like the original (male) Charlie.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: The Angels' first encounter with Hodak culminates in a Car Chase. When Jane asks Bosley for the big guns, she pulls out a TAR-21 assault rifle. Hodak counters with a dashboard-mounted minigun.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Sabina is seen to flirt with men and women but it's unclear if her attraction to men is genuine or merely pragmatic. Her saying that her seduction of Johnny in the opening scene was the worst date of her life suggests the latter.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Although electromagnetic fields can be used to affect certain parts of the brain, an EMP on the scale that Callisto can unleash wouldn't have any noticeable effect on the human body.
  • Artistic License – Law: Brok's corporate security forces in his Hamburg facility carry handguns. Given Germany's very restrictive gun laws, it's unlikely that a privately owned company like his would've been given permission to arm its personnel in real life.
  • Arc Words: "Send Love" or variations on it are used as call-signs among Townsend Agents and their clients.
  • Asshole Victim: Only one sympathetic person (Edgar "Bosley" Dessange) dies in the course of the film. Everyone else is a sexist Jerkass or a Mook. However, even some of those deaths are treated somberly – being a jerk doesn't mean you deserve to be murdered, and it's normal to feel bad when someone you spent a lot of time with dies, even if they were a jerk.
  • Badass Boast: Jane to Hodak during the Final Battle:
    "You have seven moves, and I know them all."
  • Black Dude Dies First: Edgar "Bosley" Dessange.
  • Blatant Lies: After Sabina is seriously injured in an explosion, Jane breaks down crying at her bedside. When the unconscious wakes up and asks why she's crying, she immediately denies that she is while tears are obviously streaming down her face. She's immediately called out on it.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: John Bosley is the Big Bad, with Hodak serving as The Dragon. Alexander Brock is working with them, but he is more of a Big Bad Wannabe since Bosley and Hodak turn on him.
  • The Big Guy: Jane, who is the best fighter of the three Angels and also the tallest.
  • Boom, Headshot!: How Hodak kills Fleming.
  • Broken Pedestal: The Big Bad is a mole in the Townsend Institute and a Bosley.
  • The Cameo: Jaclyn Smith once again cameos as Kelly Garrett from the original series. Danica Patrick, Ronda Rousey, and Laverne Cox show up during the credits to train Elena. Hailee Steinfeld, Lili Reinhart, Chloe Kim, and Aly Raisman appear as fellow recruits. Michael Strahan can also be seen as a Bosley.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Zig-zagged. At first, Elena is a loose end to be taken care of; however, when it becomes clear that no one else can activate Callisto, she becomes much more valuable alive.
  • Chekhov's Army: Several of the female extras turn out to be Angels.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Ingrid, Flemming's Sassy Secretary, is actually a Reverse Mole and one of the Angels.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • John Bosley is shown in pictures with the TV show's and previous film series' Angels in place of David Doyle and Bill Murray.
    • The fact that John Bosley is called John (and his designation of "Bosley 001") refers to him as the first Bosley.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Sabina is a massive snarker and kind of a goofball, yet can dish out as much punishment as any of the other Angels.
  • Disney Villain Death: Jane throws Hodak off the balcony at the party and he is impaled on a glass or ice figure.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Sabina's go-to tactic but she's not immune to it herself.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Sabina tends to ditch her shoes when she can, which is very much in line with her actress, Kristen Stewart.
  • Dumb Blonde: Sabina invokes this trope as seen in previous installments of the franchise. She's not stupid but she comes across easily distractable and rather goofy. Her athletic abilities, androgynous presentation and tendency to flirt with other women combine this trope with Dumb Jock.
  • Elite Mook: Quite a few of the villains' henchmen are capable of putting up a good fight against the Angels.
  • EMP: The Callisto technology Elena helped develop has a programming flaw that can be exploited to turn the device into an EMP grenade that, somehow, can trigger fatal strokes in anyone near them.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": All lieutenants in the Townsend Institute are called "Bosley," even when speaking to each other.
  • A Father to His Men: Two prominent Bosleys, Edgar and Rebekah. They tend to show parental affections to the Angels throughout their respective scenes.
  • Female Gaze: The film takes full advantage of Kristen Stewart's status as a sex symbol for homosexual women. The first trailer leaned very heavily into this fanservice potential, particularly one rather infamous closeup shot of her butt in tight riding pants that wasn't even used in the final film.
  • Given Name Reveal: Each Bosley has their given name revealed throughout the story: Edgar, Rebekah, and John.
  • Hate Sink:
    • Hodak is the cruel assassin hired by John Bosley to help the latter achieve the energy saver turned weapon Callisto. Hodak targets and tries to kill future Angel Elena Houghlin and kills Angel Jane Kano's mentor Edgar "Bosley" Dessange instead. Unlike the Thin Man who is very suave and mostly composed, Hodak, while also chilling calm, is nothing but a sadistic and cold blunt instrument.
    • Peter Flemming is Elena's greedy and sexist supervisor who intends to sell Callisto to Bosley despite hearing how dangerous it is and shuts Elena down on warning about how dangerous it is given the flaw that makes it a biological weapon. Flemming also goes along with Hodak targeting Elena to get her out of the way. By the end of the day, Flemming has no idea how to work the device and ends up killed as nothing but a useless pawn.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Johnny Australia sells the villains out to the Angels at the end of the film.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Elena accidentally tranquilizes herself when she was trying to use the tranquilizing breath mints on a mook.
  • I Know Kung-Faux: Subverted Elena asserting she knows Krav Maga is set up as this, but although she clearly lack battlefield experience, she actually proves capable.
  • Ignored Epiphany: Brok seems at least disturbed that John intends to turn Callisto into EMP weapons. Unfortunately his conscience isn't big enough to trigger Heel–Face Turn and he ends up doing nothing for either the heroes or villains before getting arrested himself. In contrast, Jonny sells the villains out to the Angels and is seemingly allowed to escape justice because of this last minutes Heel–Face Turn despite his previous crimes .
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Hodak dies after Jane throws him over a balcony and he lands on the sharp end of an ice sculpture.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: Jane swears vengeance on the assassin, Hodak, after he kills her mentor Bosley, and her final fight is with him.
  • Jerkass: Johnny Australia, Fleming and Rolf. All are sexist egotists.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Sabina. Her Establishing Character Moment after seducing and fooling Jonny in the opening scene includes her calling him out for stealing money from women and children.
    • Ingrid, Flemming's Sassy Secretary who seemingly likes to antagonize Elena in the beginning, is actually a Reverse Mole and one of the Angels. She gives Elena a friendly blink after they defeated John and his men in the climax.
  • The Lad-ette: Sabina embodies this trope.
  • Lady Swears-a-Lot: Sabina. Later, Elena picks up her habit of repeating "shit, shit, shit" when things go wrong.
  • Legacy Character:
    • The name "Bosley" is now given to the head of each of the Townsend Agency's various branch offices.
    • Near the end of the film, it's offhandedly mentioned that the original Charlie died at some point in the past, with the new head of the agency having taken his name.
  • MacGuffin: The Callisto devices. The villains want to turn them into untraceable weapons while the heroes seek to prevent this.
  • MacGyvering: Jane macgyvers a smoke bomb from lab equipment at one point to escape a building while chased by local security forces.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: When Edgar "Bosley" Dessange is shot square in the neck, he merely touches the wound with a surprised look on his face and even continues to drive his car for a bit before collapsing.
  • Male Gaze: Exploited. The first scene is shot from the POV of the sexist villain, which involves focused shots on Kristen Stewart's face and body, so both he and the audience are surprised when she starts beating him up.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Edgar Bosley is Jane's mentor and his death causes her to desire vengeance on the assassin who murdered him.
  • Ms. Fanservice: All three of the angels are beautiful but Sabina is by far the most sexualized. She's an interesting example of this trope in that she's clearly designed to be desirable to women as well as men. On the other hand, Jane is an Amazonian Beauty variant for this trope as her scenes tend to show her amazingly fit body. She is a former MI6 agent, after all.
  • The Mole: John Bosley is one for Brok Industries.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: In the past, Sabina told Jane that she was an heiress with a Rich Idiot with No Day Job vibe who was Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life before Charlie recruited and trained her to be an Angel. But in the present, Sabina tells Elena that she was a poor and homeless girl before Charlie recruited her.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Sabina had a gunfight at her wedding, apparently with the person she was marrying:
    Jane: I didn't know you were married.
    Sabina: I'm not. I was the better shot.
    • Whatever happened between Jane and Fatima was the one who caused her to quit MI6.
  • Plausible Deniability: Brok name-drops the trope as the reason why he doesn't want to be told what exactly his henchmen have been up to while carrying out the vague orders he gave them.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: At the climax, Bosley turns the Angels' Trust Password into one right before triggering their sting at Brok's party:
    "Send the love."
  • Psychopathic Man Child: Brok has a little bit of this after his true nature is revealed.
  • Red Herring: It's made to look like Rebekah Bosley is the Big Bad. The real traitorous Bosley is John.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Averted. Fleming is killed, not because he is a traitor, but because the Callisto buyer insists on a demonstration of its abilities and he doesn't know enough about the tech to make it work.
  • Salt and Pepper: Inverted with Sabina and Jane: Jane is the uptight one, while Sabina is more relaxed.
  • Samus Is a Girl: While we never see her face, it's revealed that "Charlie" is actually a woman using a computer program to sound like a man.
  • Satellite Love Interest: Langston, the sexy nerd that Jane flirts with.
  • Science Hero: Elena isn't much of a fighter, but her skills as an engineer and programmer come in handy time and again.
  • She's Got Legs: The camera likes to linger on Kristen Stewart's shapely legs and Sabina often wears outfits that accentuate them.
  • Shout-Out: The Big Bad being a character from the original show who has made a Face–Heel Turn brings to mind Jim Phelps from another famous action franchise based on a TV show, Mission: Impossible.
  • Sissy Villain: Brok is a straight but hilariously ineffectual villain, freaking out at the mere mention of violence and losing his shit even more when forced to witness actual combat. It's hardly surprising when the real bad guys wrest control away from him without any effort.
  • Stealing the Credit: Fleming has a habit of taking the credit for the work of Elena and others. This ends up getting him killed when he's put on the spot to give a demonstration of Callisto and tries to beg it off, claiming he doesn't want to get his hands dirty. Realizing the guy has no clue how it works, Hodak shoots him. Elena later lampshades how Fleming always wanted folks to think he knew more than he did.
  • The Stinger: Multiple scenes are shown during the end-titles sequence and the scrolling credits.
  • Take That!: Regarding Ben Affleck as Batman, Rebekah responds with "Is he really Batman?"
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • A good description of Fleming in the end, as he stole Calisto to sell it on the black market when he didn't actually know how to work it himself.
    • Elena pokes fun at how Brok honestly thought he was in control of his plot involving Calisto and how he doesn't grasp Bosley is going to rob him.
  • Trust Password: The phrase "Charlie sends love" is used by Angels and Bosleys to identify each other as friendly.
  • The Voiceless: Hodak, the assassin, who doesn't speak. He speaks exactly one time, to call Jane a "bitch."
  • We Need a Distraction: Sabina's primary role on the team is to provide distractions, usually with her sex appeal but not always. Ironically, she is also seen to be easily distracted by cute dogs and beautiful women.

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