Charlie’s Angels

Cast:
Cameron Diaz as Natalie
Drew Barrymore as Dylan
Lucy Liu as Alex
Bill Murray as Bosley
Tim Curry as Roger Corwin
Crispin Glover
Matt LeBlanc
Kelly Lynch as Vivian Wood
Luke Wilson as Pete
Sam Rockwell as Knox

Summary:
Charlie’s Angels is a real crowd pleaser! Diaz, Liu, and Barrymore are funny and kick butt all while looking drop dead gorgeous.

Story:
Based on the hit 70’s TV show, Charlie’s Angels features Dylan (Barrymore), Natalie (Diaz), and Alex (Liu) in the lead roles. They are special detectives for an enigmatic multi-millionaire named Charlie Townsend. Specializing in martial arts, technology, foreign languages, disguises, and great looking hair and makeup, they help solve crimes for their anonymous boss. Working as a go-between for Charlie and the Angels is Bosley (Murray).

When a wealthy computer programmer is kidnapped, the Angels are hired by Vivian Wood to track him down and recover a stolen program. This program can identify voices and track individuals down via cel phones anywhere in the world. The prime suspect in the kidnapping is a former partner of the programmer, Roger Corwin (Curry). The Angels keep an eye on Corwin, but soon find out they might be in over their heads. It takes all of their skills to solve the crime and save the day….all while balancing their personal lives.

What Worked:
I went into this film not expecting much, but I walked away pleasantly surprised. Angels has a great mix of action and humor while still maintaining good characters. Natalie, Alex, and Dylan all kick butt and look great doing it, but we get to see the personal side of their lives. And despite appearances, the girls are not perfect. Natalie is a bit if a ditz and has dreams of being a dancer (though she’s not very good). Dylan seems to attract dysfunctional guys (like Chad played by Tom Green). Alex tries her best to be a good cook, but can’t seem to get a handle on it (despite being a technical wizard). These flaws help make them human and add a great dose of humor to the characters.

The film rips off a lot of movies like Mission Impossible and The Matrix, but if you’re going to steal, do it from the best. I was afraid that the action was going to be TOO much like the Matrix, but Angels finds just the right balance to make it entertaining and unique. There’s a great fight scene in an alley and towards the end of the film. There’s also a great car chase on a freeway with Indy cars. Charlie’s Angels has one foot planted in reality and the other firmly in a fantasy realm where people climb cliffs in heels, dodge bullets, and gravity occasionally takes a vacation. If you find this acceptable, then you’ll like Charlie’s Angels.

All of the girls in the film are great, but Diaz was my personal favorite. She did some rather impressive martial arts moves and kicked serious butt. However, she could instantly switch back over to ditz mode without batting an eye. She also has a hilarious dance scene at Soul Train where she grooves to that big butt song. You’ll appreciate it when you see it.

Bill Murray is his usual hilarious self. He particularly shines in a scene where the Angels stake out the bad guy and later when he’s stuck in a prison cell. Crispin Glover also plays a psychotic henchman with martial arts skills. Think of him as George McFly with Karate Chop Action. He’s pretty psycho in the film and really does an impressive job in the action scenes.

The movie still sticks to its roots in the old TV show. Like a KFC commercial, they flash a lot of thigh, breast, and leg, but the film still manages to keep things relatively clean. John Forsythe returns as the enigmatic Charlie and even talks from the same old speaker phone box.

If you give Charlie’s Angels a chance, I think you’ll enjoy it. I recommend seeing it with a big crowd because the audience reaction was a lot of fun.

What Didn’t Work:
I can’t complain about too much in this film. I was expecting Tom Green to be a bit funnier in his cameo, but he came across rather flat. I also hoped the car chase in the film would have been a bit longer. It seemed to be cut a little short.

Maybe I’m just getting old, but the heavy metal music in the film seemed to blast out my eardrum. It just didn’t seem to fit in with all the other songs selected. And this soundtrack has a LOT of music. I think the rights for every song from the last 30 years were bought for this film, and they are all jammed in at one point or another.

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