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Charlie’s Angels 2019: The One Thing It Must Do

Here, I argue for diversity of character.

I’ve been following the reaction to the trailer of Charlie’s Angels 2019. A variety of people are happy, whilst others are concerned. I believe both sides’ reactions are reasonable. Having seen the trailer, I can’t say I’m excited, but I’m not bothered either. However, one alarm bell is going off.

Before I get into the meat of this blog post, make sure you watch the trailer:

Judging by the comments, a huge problem people have is with the editing. Of course, trailer editing differs from the actual editing in the movie. However, I do think this concern is warranted. The good news is that this problem can be fixed, as people are discussing it. Overall, the trailer promises a somewhat generic spy adventure that’ll sell many popcorn buckets. There is nothing harmless in that.

So what is the one thing Charlie’s Angels 2019 has to do?

Here it is….

The movie needs diversity.

No, I don’t mean diversity of skin colour, religion, sexuality, etc. Like many filmgoers, that doesn’t earn my attention. What I mean by diversity is diversity of character. This means that the female leads have to be different from one another, and that the viewer should be able to tell them apart.

Sadly, the trailer’s characters… don’t interest me. They all seem the same, and none of the characters stand out to me.

This is, of course, a long standing problem with females in cinema. This may be bringing up a dead horse, but if we look at 2016’s Ghostbusters reboot- we see this. The four leads are defined by their hazziness with the modern world, a snarky attitude and a desire for friendship. There are, sadly, no stand out character moments in that movie. Likewise, in the Star Wars sequels- Rey borrows alot of her mannerisms and character traits from Leia. When Rose was introduced, she too was defined by her stark attitude and take-no-prisoners outlook.

To be honest, I’m bored with all of this.

Females do not act the same. There are females who exhibit different traits. One of the reasons why I love The Devil Wears Prada so much is that it shows the complexity and variety of different women. Iconic scenes- such as Miranda telling Andy that ‘everyone wants to be us’ still make an impression to this day. This works because Miranda’s strong personality contrasts to Andy’s conformist one, or to Emily’s sarcastic and bitter self. The female characters are different in personality, and because of that, people still watch The Devil Wears Prada to this day.

Often, I see writers develop ‘badass’ female characters without a personality. This leads to the infamous term ‘The Mary Sue’ but I also believe it interrupts the quality of the movie. We saw this with Captain Marvel. Carol Danvers was far from protagonist material, and dragged her solo film down. Moments that should have been powerful (“My name is Carol!”) felt stale.

I believe writers get so caught up in trying to prove political points that they forget basic characterisation. We don’t want to watch the same archetype of a character, over and over again. I understand why writers want the Strong, Badass Female Character with Diverse Friends- but it’s not working. A character isn’t automatically great because they are racially diverse, but because they have terrific characterisation. Writers need to stop trying to earn brownie points by cheap methods.

What I suggest to writers is to write characters who play off each other. Give them contrasting traits. So for Charlie’s Angels 2019, I seriously hope the female characters aren’t a bore. Jean-Luc Godard may have said: “All you need for a movie is a girl and a gun” but he did not excuse sloppy writing for female characters.

Until the day where writers realise that diversity of character is a good idea for females, I’ll be complaining.

What do you think of the trailer? Any thoughts about diversity of character? Comment below!

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