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   CHARLIE'S ANGELS (2000) 

[Get the Poster]

CAST
Cameron Diaz
Drew Barrymore
Lucy Lui
Bill Murray
Tim Curry
Sam Rockwell
Kelly Lynch
Crispin Glover
Luke Wilson
Matt LeBlanc

DIRECTED BY
McG

PURCHASE


DVD



Soundtrack




Time: 98 mins.
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Comedy/Action


I was initially excited about the remake of this classic campy series. Just young enough to be impressed by the original angels, I was hoping the film version would capture the sexiness and strength of the leading ladies. With the casting of Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Lui, it seemed the film was on the right track. The scuttlebutt and trailer gave me cause for pause, but I needn't have worried. CHARLIE'S ANGELS is the silliest action movie ever committed to film and it's exactly the direction the filmmaker's should have taken. They made a film that kicks butt without taking itself too seriously, creating a perfectly fun movie going experience. Since there isn't much of a plot, you can just sit back and enjoy the ride, unlike MI:2, which was trying too hard to be the ultimate action film and failed miserably.

The film opens with a spectacular skydiving sequence, full of adrenalin and speed, which sets the tone of the film – fast and flashy. It then goes into the old opening from the show, introducing the audience to each of the angels and their special skills. This is one of the funniest sequences of the film. Seeing Cameron Diaz in a full mouth retainer is absolutely hysterical. There seems to be nothing that embarrasses this woman. We then get a brief glimpse into each of the ladies private lives – Dylan (Barrymore) wakes up with a man she barely knows, Natalie (Diaz) wakes up from a dream where she's a disco dancing star, and Alex (Lui) is trying to keep her secret agent life hidden from her actor boyfriend played by Matt LeBlanc. They then get the call to meet Bosley (Murray) at the agency to receive their next assignment from Charlie.

It seems a billionaire software executive and his latest software invention have been kidnapped. There's been no ransom demand and his partner, Vivian (Lynch) is worried she'll never see him alive again. She points the finger at a rival software company owned by Roger Corwin (Curry). They uncover the face of one of the kidnappers – dubbing him the Thin Man – but glean nothing else from the kidnapping video. So, the angels and Bosley decide to crash Corwin's latest party to see if they can discover anything. Always on the lookout for a good man, Natalie flirts with the bartender (Wilson) and winds up with a date. Meanwhile, Alex spots the Thin Man lurking around the party and the chase is on. In one of the first of many fight scenes, the angels strut their stuff, kicking, punching, flipping. It's a joy to behold, since they've basically stolen the MATRIX technology. The action sequences are about the only thing you can take seriously in this movie and they are choreographed to perfection. The angels may be beautiful, but they take no prisoners.


"Do you know how hard it is to find a quality man in Los Angeles?"

They end up rescuing Eric Knox (Rockwell), but fail to recover the software. So, a major infiltration attempt is launched against Corwin's company to enable them to see if he has the software. What the angels and Bosley don't realize is that this was Knox's plan all along. What started as a simple kidnapping has turned on them and become a personal attack on them and their boss Charlie. I won't go into any details, since that would give away what little there is of a plot, but let's just say that there are explosions, more hand-to-hand fighting, fighting on a helicopter, and assassination attempts. Needless to say, the angels get themselves out of some pretty sticky situations with humor and style...and many, many outfit changes. Several of them, even find love. The bad guys aren't very scary or evil, though they sure do try. Especially, Crispin Glover as the Thin Man, a character without a single line, but menace in his eyes. Of course, in the series the bad guys were usually pretty lame as well. Neither the show nor the film is about them anyway. It's about the angels looking and being fabulous.

What truly saves this film from being absolutely awful, besides the beautiful woman and the skimpy clothes they wear, is the humor. With nods to the show, other films and the ladies personal lives (Tom Green has a great cameo as Chad), CHARLIE'S ANGELS keeps you entranced by making you laugh with the film instead of at it. Barrymore and Diaz use their goofiness to make them more likable and charming, just adding to their sexiness by being human. Though the tight clothes and the implied nakedness doesn't hurt. Lui does what she does best, the beautiful dominatrix routine, with a dash of the happy homemaker baked in. Bill Murray is amazingly funny as Bosley, a man who wants to be as cool as the angels, but always ends up being in the way. Much has been made of the fact that the angels don't carry guns. I applaud Barrymore for making this decision. It made the movie far more interesting by forcing the characters to interact with each other, instead of just shooting bullets from afar. It gave the fight sequences a sense of intimacy and urgency that is lacking in most action flicks today. Of course, it only works well here because of the MATRIX technology, which has brought coolness back to hand-to-hand combat. I found it completely unbelievable that these women were actually beating up men twice their size, but swallowed it because they did it with humor, confidence and style.

This is not a film everyone will enjoy, though I think more men will give it a thumbs up than women. It's girl power with emphasis on the girl – the angels aren't afraid to use their sexuality in the line of duty – and I think that will be hard to swallow for some 21st century gals. I, however, am not one of them. I think this is going to end up being one of my guilty pleasures. If you're looking for some fun along with your action, CHARLIE'S ANGELS delivers. As long as you don't take it, or yourself, to seriously.


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