CHARLIE’S ANGELS (2000)
Starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Bill Murray, Tim Curry, Kelly Lynch, Crispin Glover, Tom Green, LL Cool J and Matt LeBlanc.
Screenplay by Ryan Rowe, Ed Solomon and John August.
Directed by McG.
Distributed by Columbia Pictures. 99 minutes. Rated PG-13.
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 seriously.
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 or stunt.
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 immediacy.
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.
Charlie’s 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)
Copyright ©2000 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: November 8, 2000.