dir McG • scr Ryan Rowe, Ed Solomon, John August
with Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, Bill Murray, Tim Curry, Crispin Glover, Sam Rockwell, Kelly Lynch, Matt LeBlanc, Luke Wilson, Tom Green, LL Cool J
release US 3.Nov.00, UK 24.Nov.00
Review by Rich Cline
From the cheesy circa 1980 TV series comes an action comedy that makes fun
of all things circa 1980: bad TV, disaster movies and of course cheesy TV
This time our three angels are Dylan, Natalie and Alex (Barrymore, Diaz and Liu), action women who have become high-tech private investigators for the unseen Charles Townsend. They get their assignments from the goofy Bosley (Murray) and this time it involves a kidnapped computer programmer (Rockwell), a sinister businessman (Curry) and a mysterious thin man (Glover). But the vapid plot is merely an excuse for action, and lots of it.
Frenetically directed by someone called McG, virtually every scene in the film is jammed with sight gags and wacky dialog ... as well as subtle and not-so-subtle jabs at Bond and Mission Impossible-type films. If you can remotely suspend your faculties of criticism, this is great fun to watch, thoroughly entertaining, surprisingly witty and, well, gorgeous to look at. The three leads get nice twists on their roles--Diaz is brainy and ditzy at the same time, Barrymore is thuggish with impeccable lipstick in all but one hilarious scene, Liu is both broadly slapstick and sleekly seductive. They're terrifically funny--all hair flicks, karate poses and Matrix-style gravity-defying fight scenes. Murray gets the short shrift, underused and a bit uneven. And in the end it's simply empty-headed fun, nothing more.
[PG-13--violence, language, innuendo] 4.Nov.00
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Chris C, St Louis: Why on earth does Hollywood insist on continually rehashing old TV shows for movies, particularly ones that weren't all that great in the first place? An original idea would be a refreshing change for goodness sake. Now that I have vented for a brief moment, I must admit that this was actually great. Derived from a popular, yet mindless and awful, series from the late 1970s, this turbo-charged action comedy scored across the board. The ridiculousness of the plot and energetic action sequences mirror the format of the original show to a point, but a fresh and talented cast and crew make this film a giddy rollercoaster ride of cinematic entertainment. New angels Lucy Liu (of Ally McBeal fame), the lovely Cameron Diaz, perky Drew Barrymore (also a coproducer), along with Bill Murray, a creepy Crispin Glover, Tim Curry and a surprise cameo by the original Charlie highlight the fine ensemble cast. I think it is an interesting choice to release the film now as opposed to a summer blockbuster time slot, but I highly recommend this film to anyone who just wants to have some plain old fun at the movies. Forget about subtext and reality for a few hours, get some popcorn and say 'Good morning, angels.'