Sunday, July 6, 2014

Charlie's Angels (2000) Review:

When it comes to female leads in action roles, the names Angelina Jolie or Milla Jovovich may come to mind. They play serious roles with a tad bit of wisecracks and a bunch of violence, specifically with weapons. When that genre is flipped on its head and made into an action comedy, it then fits for a different set of actresses. In some ways, this movie is the definition of how masculine a chick flick can possibly get. It still has all the basic set-ups for a chick flick, but this time it includes explosions and hand-to-hand combat. There's nothing wrong with that particular element, but as a whole it really doesn't have any substance that defines itself from other chick flicks of that decade (other than its explosions and combat).

Gather round ladies...
Charlie's Angels (2000) is another cinema adapted TV show from the 1970s that hoped to capitalize on its nostalgic feel while mixing in Hollywood's biggest grabs at the time. Our main protagonists are Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu as the spy trio who take orders from a faceless billionaire named by Charlie (voice by John Forsythe). Helping them in their travels and spy tactics is Bosley (Bill Murray). When they receive a distress call about a scientist (Sam Rockwell) being kidnapped, they head out to infiltrate and save him. This is all fine but everything else involved in the writing is fairly one-dimensional. I'm guessing because all three writers were guys and they had no clue what to include except the cliche things.

Problems arise in the movie’s plot when the story tries to focus on each of the Spys' personal lives. Each Angel is in the state of "Ugh, I can't find a way to balance my professional career with my social life". Though somehow, one would think when they agreed to work for Charlie they would've understood that from the start. Besides, these particular subplots didn't go anywhere anyway. There wasn't much closure at all other than what you would expect when it came to the main plot. Along with that are either some obvious sexual humor, meaning to play off of the female leads. Some of it might produce a chuckle but sometimes it painstakingly bad. There's even some jokes that may not be understood at all.

There are also appearances from other actors you wouldn't expect to see too often. Matt LeBlanc, Tom Green, Luke Wilson, Crispin Glover and even Tim Curry. Sadly everyone mentioned before Curry gets more screen time than he does. Tim Curry will always be an underrated actor and he should’ve been given more screen time. How do you shorthand Tim Curry? But Curry did at least sumo fight Murry. That was funny. When it came to action however, it entertained. Hand-to-hand combat is always more interesting to watch than constant explosions because there is always room for improvisation. This also what helps make this movie more fun than a normal chick flick because our three main leads have not taken on very many action roles in their career. It's a nice turn.

Do you want Curry with that?
Of course a number of action sequences aren't believable at times but they at least will keep the attention of the viewer. That's important. The camerawork was fairly steady and the cinematography by Russell Carpenter looked good. It wasn't breath taking, but there were nice set pieces and backgrounds he did get shots of. The music by Ed Shearmur was interesting at best. There were moments where he was able to create some good tension while at other times it didn't work or there was contemporary music played instead. Mehh, was alright. What did surprise me was how many times the movie tried to make references to angels in general. Come on, we get it. No need to hammer it in to our skulls. It’s an ok film.

Its humor helps slightly in its favor along with likable leads, fun action and underrated supporting actors like Bill Murry and Tim Curry. Yet, it still can't remove itself from feeling like a chick flick.

Points Earned --> 6:10

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