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Resurrected Angels:70's TV icons make their big screen debut
by Anhoni Patel on Aug 20, 2004
The independent movie aficionado in you rejects its Hollywood hype. The feminist in you rejects its blatant exploitation of legs and breasts. Yet the seventies teenager in you has been dreaming about this movie for years. That’s right: Charlie’s Angels are back in action.
The director, ominously known as McG, has a distinct style that seems to stem from his work in creating music videos; this is actually his first film. As a result, Charlie’s Angels sports a diverse and engaging soundtrack and is sprinkled with serendipitous music cues that add to its wit. There are also a few dance sequences, one of which takes place on “Soul Train” and will have you chuckling in your seat. In addition, McG makes use of graphics in the opening shots, adding a sitcom feel to the film (much like the beginning of the first Mission Impossible movie), or perhaps even, an MTV breakthrough video effect.
After we are graciously introduced to our modern day Angels: Natalie (Cameron Diaz), Dylan (Drew Barrymore), and Alex (Lucy Liu) as well as their den mother Bosley (Bill Murray), they are whisked off on an assignment. The founder of a software company Eric Knox (Sam Rockwell) has been kidnapped and his partner Vivian Wood (Kelly Lynch) hires the girls to find him and figure out the kidnapper’s motives. The plot, of course, is a bit far-fetched, but what’s an action movie without semi-ridiculous villains and grandiose rescue scenes? And it’s so much fun watching the girls do their thing that you don’t mind much.
What saves the film from becoming a trite cheese-fest is its ability to laugh at itself. It is fully aware of the fact that it features three amazing looking women, all of whom are thoroughly juiced of their attributes to sell the movie. The turn of every scene brings the Angels another opportunity to don a new outfit or disguise and thus, showcase their lovely physiques. There are several shots slowed down to flashback perfection in which the camera caresses the actresses with a prom photographer’s flourish -- you can almost see the sparkly stars in the background. These tongue-in-cheek glam moments along with the perky, elementary school “Good Morning Charlie” chants and destinations like “Madam Wong’s House of Blossoms” all contribute to the movie’s campy charm.
The action scenes are aesthetically beautiful and highly stylized in a John Woo meets The Matrix fashion. Encompassing the energy and strength of the fighting, they draw you into the turmoil and make you want more. Or maybe it’s just cool watching women kick serious ass. And although it’s directed by a music video maker, this film does not suffer from constant five-second MTV editing. There are quick edits but they’re not structured around the attention span of a two year old.
Last but not least, Bill Murray is hilarious with his deadpan, offbeat humor. There are a series of scenes--in which he’s trapped in a cell--that allow the actor to display his comic abilities; these are one of the film’s highlights.
Despite what your concerns may be, Charlie’s Angels is an entertaining movie. It’s not going to change your life or create political upheaval but it will allow you to sit back and get in touch with that little person inside of you that once worshipped the women on the show. There’s music, dancing and, of course, eye candy galore. My advice is to get over your trepidation and have some fun.
1 hour 43 minutes
by Anhoni Patel on Aug 20, 2004