Part of the enduring fun of every incarnation of Charlie's Angels is the sheer ridiculousness of the setup, and one wishes Banks had let her team lean into that a little bit more. There are moments of inspired lunacy, including a cheese feast at a safe house and a random dance sequence, but for the most part, everyone (save for Stewart) plays it extremely straight. Banks is rightfully concerned with making sure the Angels are taken seriously as feminist heroes, but that sometimes results in eye-roll-worthy self-seriousness. See, for instance, the title sequence full of quasi-inspirational stock footage featuring young girls, the implication being all of them could eventually be angels. But, at this point, it goes without saying that women can be action stars. Female audiences don't need to be pandered to; we just want to see our peers kick ass and have a good time. Some of the silliest gags (featuring cameos from accomplished women in a variety of fields) in this movie don't come until the end credits as part of Elena's Angel training sequence. (Yes, Elena doesn't even become a full-fledged Angel until the end, which says something about the overall momentum of the film.)
Scott, underserved in Disney's Aladdin remake, is goofily naïve as Elena, while Balinska has the tougher role as the humorless one. But it's Stewart who stands out, the glint of mischief in her eye as she carries scenes. Sabina's backstory, referenced obliquely, is that she was a Gossip Girl-style rich girl who reformed her ways when Charlie recruited her. I say: Bring on the spinoff, especially if it means more of Stewart mugging her way through scenes in Kym Barrett's exquisite costumes. Truthfully, I'm not ashamed to admit that half my enjoyment of this movie was coveting the various outfits that Stewart wears.
As a mystery and spy-thriller, the new Charlie's Angels is underwhelming. As a vehicle for Kristen Stewart to prove she can carry a blockbuster, it's positively angelic.