Ossus Library Index Action Movie Index

CHARLIE'S ANGELS

Directed by McG (Joseph McGinty Nichol) (2000, Columbia Pictures)
Starring Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and Bill Murray

Three gorgeous detectives search for some stolen voice recognition software for a client.

View Count: 3 times

 

 

3 stars

April 20th, 2003 on TV

 
    Since this was on TV, and the sequel is coming out this summer, I thought I'd give Charlie's Angels another chance. It is still not a great movie, but for some reason, I keep coming back to it.

There is a lot to like about the movie, most of all these three gorgeous women! The way I could spend the whole movie just looking at them says something about the way it was produced! It was really funny at times, with another favorite of mine being the "Chinese fighting muffins".

However, there was also a lot to scratch my head about. I realize that viewers are not supposed to think through this movie, so I won't. I am purely satisfied to see these girls do their terrific street fighting, impersonating, and falling in love with guys who are just perfectly their types.

After complaining so much about Dylan always getting the short shrift, I realized that she at least had one great fight scene in which she won: after she escapes the chair near the end, knocking out eight men with her hands tied. Great!

 

 

3 stars

May 12th, 2001 on Video

 
    Going in with lower expectations this time, I think I enjoyed the movie better. At least I was able to laugh at so many more things. The movie didn't take itself seriously for a moment, and neither did I. I think it was more fun this time, but in no way was it great.

I don't know how much more I can add to what I wrote previously (below). I liked the way the movie constantly poked fun at itself and all the other action flicks out there. I liked to see tough women who were not just female versions of a male action hero. They were vulnerable in a feminine way. They still loved to dance, fall in love, and cared about their boyfriends. (Of course, those are not just female traits, but...) They were charming and very sexy. And they knew how to use their femininity to get what they wanted.

The best laughs this time... "Finally, a man who speaks Natalie!", Lucy Liu's journey into the heart of the computer company as efficiency expert, fixing the speaker to the fast food drive-through, and I still love Bosley's soap-gun. 

I still didn't like the fact that Drew Barrymore's character was captured twice, and later couldn't get control of her "boyfriend" as he steered the helicopter. She was terrific, though, as Bosley's escort (that dress!) and later in her race-car outfit.

There were other things that felt wrong with this movie, but it was still a lot of fun, more so, I think, because it made fun of itself along the way. Somehow, it didn't seem as bad as it should have been. The great music and excellent effects helped a lot, too. But most of all, it was those three charming smiles...
 

 

3 stars

November 11th, 2000 in the Theatre

 
    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 well.  

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 movie.  

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.

 
   

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