I'm sort of ambivalent about this movie. I guess I was
expecting more, what with the caliber of the actors presented within.
It was good -better than Mission Impossible
2, and a lot of fun, but it wasn't great, or terrifically fun.
This is exactly the sort of movie that I created the 3-star rating
for. Something that was good, and fun, but mindless. In action
movies, this rating is reserved for those shoot-em-up, blast-em-up, everybody-hits-me-but-I-get-right-up-again
stories that lose you once you leave the theatre. In here fits the
recent James Bond movies, the Lethal
Weapons, the Mission Impossibles.
It takes something more for the movie to rise up into the 4-star range.
Something with pure adrenaline or a twist, such as The
Rock, or Speed.
But not Charlie's Angels. To be fair, Joanne loved the
movie, probably most of all because she watched it when she was younger.
For me, never having seen the show, I'm sure I missed hundreds of in-jokes.
I certainly missed a lot of the seventies jokes -but I caught many, as
What I liked most about the movie was the unique way our heroes
stay away from the guns. They do all of their fighting in hand-to-hand
mode. With the director's choice of slow motion, and nearly stop-motion,
inspired by The Matrix, this made it
all seem surreal.
For once, the heroes are just as vulnerable as the bad guys.
Let me rephrase that: the bad guys are just as good as our heroes.
They can block every punch and kick, get back up when they are thrown down,
and they can also deliver the slow motion stuff. Of course, we hate
them for this. Our Girls should be able to kick butt, and have their
opponents stay down so they can get some work done.
For they have work to do, and it's not as simple as it looks
at first. A woman hires them to find her partner, who has been kidnapped
by a rival computer company, since they have created a unique voice recognition
software. The combination of GPS and voice identification could eliminate
privacy worldwide. So the Angels rescue the partner, and spy on the
head of the GPS company, and then infiltrate the company to connect the
master computer to the Angels' office computer.
It is great fun to watch them work. They use their skills
and their disguises to full effect, not to mention their feminine wiles.
And cleavage. Cameron Diaz does not seem to hesitate in showing off
the space between her breasts, nor most of the flesh on her body, either.
Lucy Liu is more restrained, but wears tight-fitting clothing to accentuate
her body. Drew Barrymore is the one I thought the director would
try to exploit to full effect, since she is more - um, full? -than the
others. But she was also pretty restrained, aside from three scenes,
one where her racing uniform is completely unbuttoned, in order to distract
a chauffeur, one where she is in a blanket (extremely sexy!) and hides
behind an inflatable toy, and in that same scene, she shows up naked as
she is falling from the tower -but only for a few frames of film.
There are lots of sexy moments, and since I am totally in love
with Drew, I think that blanket scene, combined with an earlier scene in
a very elegant dress, were the best. There were certainly many more
scenes to titillate. That's for sure. And that seems to be
what the movie is all about. I wanted a little bit more from the
The pacing seems to be the only thing that I can point to as
being "off". The adrenaline gets pumping, then it stops, and starts
again, but only lasts for a short while. It's as if the movie was
made in short snippets at a time.
The real target of the whole plot, though, is Charlie, the Angels'
never-seen boss. The kidnapping was a setup, to track Charlie down
by the voice recognition software combined with the GPS, so that he can
be killed. Some obsession thing.
I think Drew Barrymore got the short shift in this movie.
While the other Angels have specific skills, she doesn't seem to have any.
She gets captured not once but twice in the film, by the same person.
She gets shot out a window, and later tied up. One wonders why she
couldn't escape the chair when Charlie was being traced, like she does
just a few minutes later.
Of course, that leads to the helicopter chase, where Liu gets
to straddle a missile and reprogram it in a few seconds. Drew, meanwhile,
kicks and punches the bad guy, but he still manages to get the missile
off. And it's not just that he could take a punch like any good guy. Drew's character is just not good enough.
The comedy in the movie was very funny, but the best moments
have to be when dealing with the boyfriends. All of them were extremely
funny, though the "Chad" bit went a little too far. Bill Murray was
also extremely funny with everything he was given, from mock-sumo wrestling
to fashioning a gun out of soap Miami-Vice style (so I'm told).
Everything that went on in the movie was well done. The
action was exciting, the girls were sexy, there were a lot of funny moments,
but I still felt that the movie was missing something that would have made
it great. All I can come up with is the pacing that felt off.
But, by all means, three stars is still very well recommended. And
this movie is still a lot of fun.