Charlie's Angels (2000)
Review by Catalyst

Directed by McG
Written by John August, Ryan Rowe & Ed Solomon, based on the TV series by Ivan Goff & Ben Roberts
Starring Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz, Bill Murray, Sam Rockwell

My Advice: Matinee.

It's tough to review a movie like this. I mean, let's face it, if you're expecting Silence of the Lambs, you're going to be slapped upside the head. And you're going to deserve it. This movie is not supposed to be a gripping example of plot and character. This is three babes in very little clothing kicking rather a lot of ass. The characters aren't very deep, the dialogue could be a lot better, and the plot could be thicker. But who cares?

This is yet another remake of a television series, and has to be judged as such. By those standards, it comes out VERY far ahead.

Impressively enough, they didn't drag out all of the same characters and try to cast them with modern actresses. The only two characters to come from the original series are Charlie himself--voiced by the same actor, John Forsythe--and Bosley. I don't seem to remember Bosley being quite so dorky, but watching Bill Murray at work is always fun.

The Angels themselves are all-new. There's Dylan (Drew Barrymore), the runaway, Alex (Lucy Liu), who can't cook but is unaware of it, and Natalie (Cameron Diaz), who is a complete airhead. Each of them is possessed of a large array of gymnastic, detective, computer, and combat skills. That pretty much sums up the lead characters.

They've been hired by Vivian Wood (Kelly Lynch) to rescue her partner Eric Knox (Sam Rockwell), who has apparently been kidnapped by a man known only as "The Thin Creepy Man" (Crispin Glover), who apparently works for Communications Mogul Roger Corwin (Tim Curry). Corwin owns a satellite network that, when combined with Knox's voice ID software, could spell the end of privacy as we know it.

The plot actually contains a couple of twists and turns, and they're handled well. But not so well as to make you forget that you're watching Mission: Impossible with three babes instead of Tom Cruise, and a lot of humor mixed in with the action.

The film loses points for some of that humor, because some of it is overdone. It's a little hard to accept Diaz' mindless ditz at some points, and Liu's character's insistence that she's able to cook is a bit of a stretch. Barrymore's character has her stupid moments, but they're not so painfully obvious as to make you wince. And all of the movie's shortcomings can be forgiven, if only for the sequence where Barrymore, tied to a chair, explains to her four attackers exactly what she's doing, step by step. The previews really don't do the scene justice.

In the end, you can be assured that everyone looks REALLY good, butts get kicked, and you have fun.

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Buy The Charlie's Angels Casebook from Amazon!
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