Bold-faced Fun
Charlie's Angels
Review by Ross Anthony

Boy, this was a fun movie! Aside from a small lull in the third act, "Charlie's Angels" are simply devilishly hilarious. Don't be duped into thinking that "Bikinis and Karate" are all they have to offer.

I've also heard folks say, "It was stupid!" But, me thinks, they missed the point. Of course it's stupid! The filmmakers are having fun, poking fun, with fun music and fun action. And the plot isn't even half-bad (1/8 bad maybe, but 1/2 -- nahhh). Anyway, the first half of this film rocks, glides, boogies, in such unique style that I didn't even care about the plot. Actually, when the film begins tending a bit too closely to its detective story - that's when things slow down.

But, the beauty is in the ridiculous. As Weird Al says, "Dare to be stupid."

Opening off the clouds of the Columbia logo through the window of a plane, Drew Barrymore, cleverly disguised as LL Cool J, commands a powerful action sequence that grabs you from your seat and tosses you into a way-jamming, rip-roaring 10 minute, opening which I feared the film could never match on an excitement level. But I was wrong.

Tom Green's a cappella tormenting vocalization of, "Just call me Angel of the morning" eases us back into a gentler pace. The movie's tempo is set from there.

"The Matrix" meets Maxwell Smart or Smart Jack or Jack Benny or Benny Hill. High-tech cool action gets double-dipped in humor and then impacted with the tongue tightly into the cheek.

All three angels dress in undercover kimonos as the track rocks out "Turning Japanese ... I really think so" or playing the tuba and accordion dressed as Swedish barmaids. Barbie must have been envious.

Lucy Liu massages a suspect. He sighs, "You're very good with your hands, I could use somebody like you on my staff." She retorts, "My hands aren't going anywhere near your staff." You can expect more of this risque double entendre.

Later to the tune of Heart's "Barracuda" black-leather-clad Lucy Liu struts into a computer corporation where everyone is dressed in white. This wonderful contrast displays the film's bold and ballsy breakout attitude.

Cleavage touting Drew exhales, "I love cars" as she licks the steering wheel. It's ridiculous on purpose! Don't take it seriously folks, you'll miss out. Cameron Diaz talks to her current boyfriend on the cell as she trades kicks with the enemy. The enemy breaks her phone, an appalled Diaz cries, "Hey, I really like that guy!"

All act well (save for the Tom Green reprise), Sam Rockwell giving a great performance as Knox, the computer genius. Ten story high kudos are due to director McG for having the guts and charisma to put together a truly invigorating mix of satire and action. I loved it.

"Charlie's Angels" is an Indy car race that breaks from the circle.

  • Charlie's Angels. Copyright © 2000. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Bill Murray, Tim Curry, Crispin Glover, Kelly Lynch, Luke Wilson, Sam Rockwell.
  • Directed By Mcg.
  • Written By Ryan Rowe & Ed Solomon and John August
  • Produced By Leonard Goldberg, Drew Barrymore, Nancy Juvonen At Columbia.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:16:34 PDT