Enkomputiligis Don HARLOW

Charlie's Angels

by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts

reviewed by Don Harlow

This delightful film has so much uncovered womanflesh, such deep cleavage and so many wet t-shirts, so much martial arts rock-'em sock-'em kick-'em action, so many wonderful flaming explosions, so many rib-tickling double entendres, that if you're a man with an ounce of red blood in his veins you have at least an eighty percent chance of staying awake through it, though this may at times take some effort. If you're a woman, red blood or no, the probabilities go way down ...

The concept is a remarkably original one. We vaguely remember that we enjoyed a program we used to watch back in the sixties or seventies, the Golden Age of Television, so let's do homage to that TV program -- Charlie's Angels -- and make some money as well, by converting it into a full-length, all-color, completely updated film. What a brilliant idea! How astute of someone to think of it! Of course, in updating it we may wish to play it straight, or we may wish to turn it into a comedy, or perhaps we can have our cake, and eat it, too... Ah, and the original Angels are a bit long in the tooth these days, so let's replace them with some nubile beauties who probably never saw the show in first run because they had hardly been born yet. (1)

Well, at least Dylan (Drew Barrymore, who was playing a five-year-old girl in E.T. the year that Charlie's Angels went off the air), Natalie (Cameron Diaz) and Alex (Lucy Liu) are easy to look at, though Diaz is the only one who's given a real chance to act -- she's allowed to play the part stupider than she really is. (2) Bill Murray as Bosley, Charlie's factotum, has what I consider the only comfortable role, and he's not given much chance to exercise his comedic competence. John Forsythe does the voice of the unseen Charlie, an exercise in nostalgia.

Oh, yes, the plot, or what passes for such. Charlie's detective agency is hired to find a kidnapped software genius, whose voice recognition software, combined with another company's global positioning system, would allow any individual using a cell phone to be precisely located at any point on earth. The kidnapping, however, is a fake, an attempt to allow said genius to get into the mainframe at the other company, with the help of the Angels. And there is an additional agenda -- revenge.

I don't think you will go wrong to give this one a miss.


(1) Perhaps a bit of an exaggeration, but not much. Liu was born in '67, Diaz in '72, Barrymore in '75.
(2) Lucy Liu -- was the name "Alex" chosen for her character because her middle name is Alexis? -- is, at one point, allowed to reprise her role as Pearl in Payback; otherwise, she is just a few funny hats. Drew Barrymore plays yet another airhead, a role I wouldn't consider acting at all but for the contrary evidence of Ever After.

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