Slick action and genuine laughs abound in this latest franchise reboot – if you can spot them amid the hyperactive editing This reboot of the reboot of the all-girl special agent series is a very different beast to its predecessors. Even pulpy chicksploitation franchises can evolve to reflect the zeitgeist, it seems. Gone is the goofy girly-bonding of the 2000 incarnation and the flicky-haired posturing of the TV show, and in its place a kind of highly polished, weaponised feminism. Kristen Stewart (a riot in a rare comic role) and Ella Balinska play Sabina and Jane, two employees of the now global Townsend agency who are tasked with protecting Elena (Naomi Scott), a brilliant scientist turned whistleblower whose invention could be deadly in the wrong hands. Written and directed by Elizabeth Banks (who also appears as Bosley), the picture comes armed to the teeth with slick action sequences (a raid on a tech lab featuring matching wigs, Escher-style architecture and some impromptu flirting is a blast) and genuinely funny lines. It’s just a pity that both the action and the dialogue are occasionally obscured by the frenzied editing.
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