THE PLOT THUS FAR
For every TV-into-movie success like The Fugitive, there are dozens of uninspired films like The Mod Squad. Happily–and surprisingly–this breezy update of the seminal ’70s jiggle show falls into the first category, with Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore (who also produced), and Lucy Liu starring as the hair-tossing, fashion-setting, kung fu-fighting trio employed by the mysterious Charlie (voiced by the original Charlie, John Forsythe). When a high-tech programmer (Sam Rockwell) is kidnapped, the angels seek out the suspects, with the daffy Bosley (Bill Murray in a casting coup) in tow. A happy, cornball popcorn flick, Charlie’s AngelsMission: Impossible. McG, a music video director making his feature film debut (usually a death warrant for a movie’s integrity), infuses the film with plenty of Matrix-style combat pyrotechnics, and the result is the first successful all-American Hong Kong-style action flick. Plenty of movies boast a New Age feminism that has their stars touting their sexuality while being their own women, but unlike something as obnoxious as Coyote Ugly, Angels succeeds with a positive spin on Girl Power for the new millennium (Diaz especially sizzles in her role of crack super agent/airhead blonde). From the send-up of the TV show’s credit sequence to the outtakes over the end credits, Charlie’s Angels is a delight. is played for laughs with plenty of ribbing references to the old TV show as well as modern caper films like
WHAT WE THOUGHT
Alex, Dylan and Natalie are an incredibly sexy crime-fighting trio, backed by an anonymous millionaire named Charlie. These Angels are the absolute epitome of cool. They can change from evening dress to street clothes in a matter of seconds, out-fight any number of evil henchmen, and disable a helicopter whilst hanging from the landing skids. And they manage to have a whole lot of laughs in the process; however if you’re not a big fan of girlie giggles, this may start to grate after a while.
The movie begins with a high-speed action sequence involving an attempted airplane hijacking which the Angels seemingly effortlessly manage to foil – this montage is perhaps emblematic of the rest of the film. The ‘teamwork’ motif is heavily emphasised, with the camera frequently (and occasionally annoyingly) cutting between the Angels whenever they’re not in the same place at the same time. Visually stunning Matrix-style action sequences are peppered throughout the fast-paced script and these are well worth watching, even if only to marvel at how efficiently the fabulous trio of Lucy Liu, Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz dispatch with the baddies whilst wearing designer clothing and high heels.
What truly saves this film from being absolutely awful, besides the beautiful woman and the skimpy clothes they wear, is the humor. With nods to the show, other films and the ladies personal lives (Tom Green has a great cameo as Chad), the film keeps you entranced by making you laugh with the film instead of at it. Barrymore and Diaz use their goofiness to make them more likable and charming, just adding to their sexiness by being human. Though the tight clothes and the implied nakedness doesn’t hurt. Lui does what she does best, the beautiful dominatrix routine, with a dash of the happy homemaker baked in. Bill Murray is amazingly funny as Bosley, a man who wants to be as cool as the angels, but always ends up being in the way. Much has been made of the fact that the angels don’t carry guns. I applaud Barrymore for making this decision.
The Blu-Ray comes with the special features ported over from the DVD special edition. The trailer and deleted scenes seem to have been upgraded to 1080 quality. But, the real exclusive is the BD-Live Movie IQ track that allows you to go deeper into the movie and learn more about the Angels’ first cinematic adventure. The DTS-HD master audio track fills all 5.1 channels to the max. Hell, I couldn’t get over the audio design for Creepy Thin Man during his few brief scenes. It’s an enjoyable film all around and one that I recommend for a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: 08/03/2010