“CHARLIE’S ANGELS” — 2 12 stars — Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska, Elizabeth Banks, Patrick Stewart; PG-13 (action/violence, language and some suggestive material); in general release; running time: 118 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — “I think women can do anything.”

The first line of dialogue in “Charlie’s Angels,” spoken direct to camera by actress Kristen Stewart, sets a clear tone for the latest film adaptation of the 1970s TV series about a trio of sexy female spies. What follows is a routine spy flick that doesn’t add much excitement to the franchise.

A gender roles conversation between super-spy and ex-con Sabina (Stewart) and her target, a chauvinistic multimillionaire named Jonny Smith (Chris Pang), leads to a showdown that introduces one of Sabina’s cohorts, a former MI-6 agent named Jane (Ella Balinska), and a host of female agents known as Angels.

Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska and Elizabeth Banks star in Charlie’s Angels.
Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, Ella Balinska and Elizabeth Banks star in Charlie’s Angels. | Chiabella James, Sony Pictures

The Angels work for the mysterious Townsend Agency, which sounds appropriate since all of its employees could probably double as supermodels. In this version of the “Angels” world, international teams of agents are grouped under a lieutenant — always called “Bosley” — but still directed via intercom by the big boss, Charlie. Back at international headquarters, one longtime Bosley (Patrick Stewart) is retiring. But a new target has popped up on the international intrigue radar, and the mission must go on. 

The problem? A company called Brock Industries has developed a clean energy solution called Calisto. Head honcho Alexander Brock (Sam Claflin) is eager to give the world the next big thing, but gifted programmer Elena (Naomi Scott) knows that in the wrong hands, Calisto could be weaponized. Unfortunately for the free world, a middle management goon named Fleming (Nat Faxon) won’t let Elena ruin the party.

The Angels contact Elena and persuade her to blow the whistle on her bosses. But before she can hand over her test reports, a mysterious assassin tries to take her out. Later, when the Angels try to acquire the half-dozen active Calisto prototypes, they discover that Fleming has already set out with them in the hopes of a big black market score.

With the help of a new handler, also named Bosley (Elizabeth Banks, who also wrote and directed the film), the Angels and Elena start crisscrossing the globe in search of the prototypes. Along the way, Elena must prove her value as it becomes clear her destiny lies with the spy organization.

Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska and Naomi Scott star in “Charlie’s Angels.” | Chiabella James/Sony Pictures

“Charlie’s Angels” checks the boxes, but that’s it. It doesn’t go above and beyond, and everything — from the set pieces to the action sequences — feels recycled. Sure, there are a lot of flashy outfits and sound cues to create atmosphere, but beneath the veneer, it’s a by-the-numbers story with a couple of unconvincing plot twists. And the film’s mixed messaging — blending an empowerment theme with the sexualized style of the source material — is just clumsy. 

Some more chemistry between the leads would have gone a long way, but aside from Stewart, no one really has the chance to shine. And in spite of the cast’s individual appeal — fans will recognize Scott from the recent “Aladdin” remake — the new crew will have a tough time erasing anyone’s memory of the franchise’s previous lineups.

“Charlie’s Angels” finishes with the promise of future adventures, but there’s very little to suggest fans will be clamoring back for more missions.

Rating explained: “Charlie’s Angels” is rated PG-13 for consistent action violence and fisticuffs, as well as some profanity.