You aren't going
to expect high art going into a movie remake of Charlie's Angels.
The original jiggle-TV classic show never claimed to be anything but
mindless fluff. But in the original, the fluff was taken somewhat
The movie version is trying to straddle the line between
straight action film and post-modern ironic nudge-wink. It is an
uncomfortable fit and turns into a muddled, but occasionally enjoyable, fast
food mess. No situation or real life fact gets in the way of a plot point
For example, in the opening, which is obviously meant to be a
showstopper -- Drew Barrymore, disguised as L.L. Cool J (don't ask) saves a
jumbo jet by grabbing a mad bomber, throwing open the door in first class
and skydiving to earth with the killer. How is it possible that the
filmmakers never even considered that all the passengers would be killed by
the sudden loss of cabin pressure?
This is the first of many ludicrously
choreographed fight scenes (director McG obviously
is a little too fond of the stop and start jumps he used so well in his
previous big credit, those dancing Dockers commercials...). The action
scenes almost never seem to make any sense, but they do have a slick popcorn
Only Cameron Diaz has the
acting chops (and frankly, the looks...) to pull off these totally
ridiculous situations and dialogue. Lucy Liu's acting repertoire appears to
stop at shaking her long, luxurious black hair, most often in slow motion.
It looks like they've periodically slipped in a Pantene commercial. Drew Barrymore's
perky gutsiness is a little more likable, but it doesn't actually feel
there, she's just a sketch in search of a character.
This film is so
clueless that it completely wastes appearances by one of the funniest men in
the movies, Bill Murray, who just looks tired and uncomfortable as Bosley.
Also criminally misused is Crispin Glover, who is possibly the most
disturbed actor working. Certainly they could have given his bad guy some
more interesting kinks than just liking to smell hair.
Angels may try to fool some people that it is a "girl power" feminist
tract, but really all it proves is women can make action films every bit as
dumb as men can. (11/00)
All rights reserved. Revised:
November 08, 2015.