Charlie's Angels

Charlie's Angels

****

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Forget Farrah Fawcett Major and the pre-Baywatch turn on, this is big league hardball, with girls you'd sell your Granny for.

First of all, it's enormously enjoyable. Second, it's sexy. Third, if you thought the fight on the beach in Mission Impossible 2 went on too long, these never want to end. And you know what? You don't care. You're having too much fun.

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The script has a sense of humour that doesn't dazzle with punchy one-liners, but is consistently witty, without showing off. After Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu have obliterated a bunch of beefy body builders, the badette quips: "Never send a man to do a woman's job".

This is Jane Bond, with a touch of The Matrix and a whole lot of Jet Li thrown in for tough measure. The stunts are startling, the effects explosive and the girls most definitely up to speed.

Without so much as a formal introduction, they have taken the male dominated action picture, flipped it around, kicked its butt, laughed their heads off and stolen everything Jean-Claude Van Damme holds dear - his dominance. If there isn't a sequel, phone the Sex Discrimination Bureau and complain.

The story is fashionably complex and entirely irrelevant. The bad guy's henchman, played with typical elan by Crispin Glover, can't be killed, which matters little because as villains go, he has style to spare.

There's something about a computer company, run by Sam Rockwell and Kelly Lynch (looking ravishing, by the way), that is new and revolutionary which rival Tim Curry wants. Rockwell is kidnapped. Lynch goes to Charlie's detective agency for help. The Angels are called in.

They have to breach the most sophisticated security ever invented.

"Sounds impossible," the client says.

"Sounds like fun," Diaz says, with one of those smiles that makes you believe in life after sex.

Just in case you thought director McG (who he?) was attempting to retain a little dignity in the casting department, Bill Murray is brought in as Charlie's office manager to scotch such misconceptions. The Angels are different. They are serious in what they do and yet ready to let inhibitions loose later.

Diaz appears to be loving every minute. Liu is focused and deadly. Drew Barrymore can devastate a roomfull of heavies while tied to a chair and fall naked out of a window to the rocks below without messing her makeup.

Some might call this a spoof, others the aberration of a much loved TV show. For those who like their movies fast and funny, call it wonderful.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Can girls kick it in big-screen adaptation? Course they can.
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Director: McG

Writer: Ben Roberts, based on the television series by Ivan Goff

Starring: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Bill Murray, Tim Curry, Crispin Glover, Kelly Lynch, Luke Wilson, Sam Rockwell

Year: 2000

Runtime: 98 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US

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