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Charlie’s Angels Review

-by Andrew Goletz

‘Charlie’s Angels’ is the latest in a long line of films based on old televisions shows. Sometimes, like in cases like ‘The Fugitive’ or ‘The Untouchables’, it works. But more often than not, the result of creating a movie from a television show is ‘Leave it to Beaver’ or ‘My Favorite Martian’. This movie falls right in between the two.

The 3 Angels are Dylan, Natalie and Alex (played by Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu respectively. Besides, hair color, they’re distinguished by attitude: Dylan is the ‘brainy’ one (and I use the term loosely), Natalie is the sexy, naďve one and Alex is the tough, ball breaker. They work at a detective agency for Charlie, a man they’ve never met, who with the help of Bosley (Bill Murray), sends them on various assignments where they can dress skimpy and stumble onto solving the case.

If anything, it looks like the girls are having fun. All of the actresses are relishing their roles and that’s a refreshing thing to see for a change. Aside from the fact that even the most amateur detective could solve the ‘who done it’ in this movie, the suspense of disbelief needed to enjoy Angels is too big even for me. By seeing the trailers for ‘Charlie’s Angels’ one knows they’re not going to be getting an ‘A’ quality story. The movie is a remnant from the Summer fluff and needs to be treated as such. Okay. Gotcha.

The most impressive parts of the movie are the fight scenes. And even though these kung fu moves and gravity defying abilities have been done to death since ‘The Matrix’, I still like seeing them. The problem here is that when one of the characters is gliding through the air and somersaulting, it’s supposed to be taking place in the real world where they would, in reality, fall on their asses. These moves in ‘The Matrix’ took place in a virtual world where anything is possible. Here, it’s absurd. Even ‘Mission Impossible 2’ dared not break the laws of physics as much as this film.

Tim Curry, as the villainous Roger Corwin, and Bill Murray are wasted here. They’re given nothing interesting to do and it’s frustrating to watch good actors waste time on screen. The plot is about as far-fetched as the stunts and most of the attempts at self- parody fall flat.

‘But Andrew, aren’t you a heterosexual male? Wouldn’t this movie be worth it just for the babes?’ You would think or hope that, wouldn’t you? It’s just a tease. The closest we come to titillation is during the familiar scene from the trailer where Cameron is coming out of the water, unzipping her swimsuit to about her navel. The scene doesn’t last any longer in the film. I’m not suggesting that ‘Charlie’s Angels’ should have been an NC-17 rated skin fest, but let’s face it, the majority of people going to see this film are horny guys who want to see sexy women in sexy situations and it’s not happening here.

The film isn’t a total disaster, though. Besides the eye catching fight scenes, Crispen Glover plays an over the top villain who’s one of the coolest cats to watch on screen since Peoples in ‘Shaft’. He looks like a freak, there isn’t a decent bone in his body and his big fight scene against the three angels is a lot of fun to watch.

You won’t get off, you’ll probably lose several IQ points during the course of the film, but there are a couple of ‘wow, cool’ moments that save it from being a complete waste of time. My best advice is to wait for the video. 

Rating: 2 Griffins (out of 4)

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