How YOU Can Be One of Charlie's Angels

Nov 20, 2000
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Beautiful women, mindless fun

Cons:Camp doesn't blend well with action, Drew Barrymore

How to become a Charlie’s Angel:

1) Be a beautiful, blond, blue-eyed, All-American girl, with a great smile and a knock-out body. Use success from role in popular movie, There’s Something About Mary, to get cast.

2) Be a beautiful, dark-haired, exotic woman, with flawless features and smoldering sexuality. Use success from role in popular TV show, Ally McBeal, to get cast.

3) Be the producer. Use position to cast yourself.

First, let me review the movie, then I’ll get to an explanation of the above intro. I gave it three stars, which makes it a good movie that I’d watch a second time on video. Here’s why:

The Cast

The casting, is, with one notable exception, well-done. Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu make great Angels: beautiful and talented. They work well together, and they’ve got the whole “we’re Charlie’s little girls” thing down pat. Sam Rockwell, as Eric Knox, the kidnappee the Angels have to save, does a good job with his highest profile role to date. Kelly Lynch turns up with dark hair, and she hasn’t looked this good since Roadhouse, which amazingly was over 10 years ago. Bill Murray is a great Bosley – but they don’t give him enough to work with here, ditto for Tim Curry. The lack of scenery for them to chew was a disappointment.

The Angels’ boyfriends are forgettable, not because of the acting, but because they are given even less to do than Murray and Curry. Tom Green is supposed to be hilarious, but I think his allegedly funny lines made the final cut only because his girlfriend was the producer.

John Forsythe reprises his role as the voice of Charlie, which was cool. But they blew a chance to do something really smooth – Farrah Fawcett wanted to be the voice of Charlie in the movie, but they turned down her offer. Then again, she may have wanted to do her body-painting thing on set – I’m sure Miss Barrymore would have been threatened by that.

The Plot

The Angels are hired to rescue Eric Knox, who has invented a voice-recognition technology that, interfaced with satellites, can pinpoint anyone in the world when they speak on their cell phone. Privacy as we know it will cease to exist! (Actually, that already happened when the Fourth Amendment was eviscerated, but I won’t nitpick).

This is about the only original part of the movie. There’s a nice twist halfway through the movie that ties it into the original series that’s pretty cool. Better than MI:2’s recycled “killer virus on the loose” plot, at any rate.

The Action/The Camp

I’m a little torn here. The flick is supposed to be campy, but it wants to be an action film at the same time. So it’s not campy in the manner of Rocky Horror Picture Show or Army of Darkness, but there are comic references to Miami Vice, The Great Escape, MI:2 (complete with John Woo dove), and more that I’m forgetting. There’s also some pretty cool action scenes – nothing original, of course. However, the fight scenes are a la The Matrix. Now I thought the fight scenes in The Matrix, where Keanu and Larry Fishburne are performing moves out of the Streetfighter videogames, were very smooth. However, there was an explanation for why they could leap fifteen feet in the air and walk on walls – it WAS a videogame. When you’re watching Diaz, Liu, and Barrymore perform the same moves, in the “real world”, it just doesn’t “look” right. I know, “It’s a movie!” but I asked around about this one, and many were in agreement.

Also, I love gunfights. I like to hear so many shells hitting the floor, it’s like someone hit the jackpot on a slot machine. But Miss Barrymore is opposed to guns and violence they spawn, so only the bad guys use guns, not our righteous little angels. Yawn.

While we’re on Miss Barrymore, let’s talk about her alleged status as a Charlie’s Angel. Not to sound like a sexist pig (which I unavoidably will), but she’s just not pretty enough. I couldn’t figure out which of the original Angels she was supposed to be, but she can’t hold a candle to even Kate Jackson, let alone Farrah (and I bet she’s supposed to be Farrah). Sorry, but this is like a beauty pageant – you need to have beauty! Diaz and Liu make her look like the ugly step-Angel. However, this was Barrymore’s project, and she got to pick herself. Mistake. She compounds that mistake by trying to convert slutty into sexy like some alchemist gone mad. The scene where she hangs her breasts of her coveralls to befuddle a man makes her look like trailer trash. Oh, I’m sure he was befuddled – he was probably thinking, “Lady, zip those things up, or I’m going to hurl like I got a bad burger at Jack-in-the-Box!”

Drew fans, sorry to pick on her, but you can expect me to be ranting again next year, when Barrymore plays the title role in the remake of Barbarella. That’s right, she’s no Jane Fonda either!

Back on task, Charlie’s Angels is a solid, if uninspired, movie. It’s very well-done, so
just enjoy this formulaic flick, and don’t look for anything original.

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