Thursday, 10 February 2011

Movie Review: Charlie's Angels (2000)


The television series was a showcase for models trying to pretend that they were actresses representing women's emerging empowerment. The movie does away with any pretenses. Essentially a 98 minute music video that finds every excuse to fill the frame with the cleavage, rear-ends, and blowing hair of its leading ladies, Charlie's Angels is almost tolerable mainly because this film is honest about its intentions. Director McG also earns some points for stylish action sequences that effectively use slow-motion to highlight the depth of the stunts in the many one-on-one hand combat scenes.

The plot matters about as much as it would in a slickly produced rock video. Natalie (Cameron Diaz), Dylan (Drew Barrymore), and Alex (Lucy Liu) are detectives working for an agency run by the mysterious and rich Charlie. Their handler and only contact with Charlie is the hapless Bosley (Bill Murray). The Angels are retained by Vivian Wood (Kelly Lynch) to rescue her business partner and software wizard Eric Knox (Sam Rockwell), who has apparently been kidnapped by rival computer magnate Roger Corwin (Tim Curry). But the Angels soon realize that neither Vivian nor Eric are what they seem, and the hunters become the hunted as Charlie himself is threatened with violent and permanent retirement.

Diaz, Barrymore (who also helped to produce the movie) and Liu go through the film with a knowing smile and glint in their eye, confirming that they are not at all taking any of the silliness seriously, and they have fun flirting shamelessly with the cameras. Charlie's Angels hustles along from one contrived set-piece to the next, never losing sight of the prime objective, which is to place the Angels in as many figure-hugging outfits as possible before the bad guys are finally terminated.

Charlie's Angels is the equivalent of browsing a fashion magazine with a model staring out of every page: an icky mixture of the glossy and the vacuous.






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