Charlies Angels

Charlies Angels

Charlies Angels is three beautiful and ingenious young women who fight crime at the behest of their unseen employer, Charlie Townsend

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There has always been a symbiosis between television and the big screen. Often hits movies are turned into TV shows such as the ill fated Planet of the Apes series, but more frequently, the TV show is made into a film, often years or even decades after the cancellation of the series.

One of the latest entries into this trend is the re-tooling of the camp 70’s cult classic, Charlies Angels. The premise of Charlies Angels is three beautiful and ingenious young women fight crime at the behest of their unseen employer, Charlie Townsend.

In this update, Charlies Angels are played by three very attractive and popular actresses, Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu. Each of the young women is as inventive and intelligent as they are beautiful. They receive their assignments from the unseen Charlie but they have coworker Bosley ( Bill Murray ) to help them set up and execute their plans.

The current assignment is to get back a computer billionaire Eric Knox (Sam Rockwell) who was kidnapped. The prime suspect is his business rival Roger Corwin (Tim Curry). Since the kidnapping is solved about half way though the film the audience can easily guess that some other mystery and motive is still to come.

While the plot of Charlies Angels is about as complex as the original ‘70s TV show the action is imaginative and does carry most of the film. After all, you don’t go to this type of movie for a plot, you go for the stunts. Among the better ones are the initial parachuting stunt in the beginning, the foot chase scene with the main hit man and the escape scene with Drew Barrymore. All of these are wonderfully choreographed and executed to perfection. Of course, you will have to suspend believe in the laws of gravity and physics.

The best-written roles is with out a doubt the one for Drew Barrymore. It may help that she is also one of the producers. (She shares this position with such notables as Betty Thomas and the creator of the TV show Aaron Spelling). Drew Barrymore’s performance of the bad girl Dylan is more (er no pun intended) fleshed out than the other two angels. She even managed to get a cameo for her new husband Tom Green.

While Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz have lesser developed roles they help to add the required energy to Charlies Angels. The three actually seemed to have enjoyed the making of this film which does help in drawing the audience into it. Among the best of he secondary roles is Tim Curry. He plays the rival businessman to the hilt. After all these years he still has the same infectious, camp playfulness that won the day in Rocky Horror. Bill Murray as Bosley is the only one that truly seems out of place. Bill Murray is much better in his own vehicle such as his performance in Ghostbusters or Stripes. Here, he is trying too hard to play things his own way which just doesn’t fit. Rather then depend on acting, Charlies Angels relies on the almost complete lack of front buttons on every costume the angles were. Its such a shame that these beautiful young women were in such a rush to fight crime the forgot to cover up first. ;->

The director, Joseph McGinty Nichol, credited simply as McG, has his freshman effort with Charlies Angels. Better known for directing music videos he did little to change the style before taking on this project. Each scene appears to be a little video in its self.

The music booms so loudly that it is often impossible to understand the dialogue. Even the staging and framing of the scenes is so much like a video you may forget you are watching a DVD and think you turned on MTV. To his credit he does pace Charlies Angels well.

There is just enough expository material to provide groundwork for Charlies Angels while the wait for the anticipated action sequences is never too long. He does balance Charlies Angels in such a way that you will never be bored although some of the sequences just seemed to have been spliced in to add more camera time for the actresses.

One case in point is placing Cameron Diaz in the middle of a Soul Train dance number. There are also numerous times when McG ‘borrows’ from other directors. You will certainly see elements from the Matrix, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon as well as several John Woo flicks. To the credit of the director, writers and producers there is an obvious absence of guns for our erstwhile heroines.

The Charlies Angels disc is excellent. The Dolby 5.1 audio will give a work out to all six of your speakers. The video is an extremely crisp anamorphic 2.35:1. Every detail of each scene is visible. The sound is absolutely incredible. Right from the start all six speakers are in overdrive.

Unlike many DVDs the sound track is even featured in all speakers, including the rear. You are surrounded literally by the sound. What carries the Charlies Angels disc is how packed full of extras it is. There is a commentary with the director and cinematographer. It is even more interesting than the usual ‘We shot this because, we did this for this reason’ that is so prevalent now. There are four featurettes including a fashion feature, A martial arts/stunts feature, a special effects feature and a director’s special feature.

Also included for your enjoyment is a special effects deconstruction, out takes and bloopers, deleted and extended scenes and two music videos, one by Destiny’s Child and the other by Apollo Four Forty. In all Charlies Angels is enjoyable for those times you really don’t want to think.

Movie Review of Charlies Angels by Doug MacLean of

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