Charlie’s Angels

In the time honored tradition of it was a hit once, it will be again, Hollywod
has been mining classic TV shows for years and bringing them to the big screen.
Some films such as “The Brady Bunch”, “The Addams Family”, and “Maverick” were
big hits. Other like “Car 54 Where are you?” and “The Wild Wild West” have been
The latest film to enter into the fray is “Charlies Angels”. The film
is an updating of the classic 70’s series that turned Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith
into stars and made Farrah Fawcett the biggest sex symbol of her era. The show
was a huge hit, but suffered over the years as various members of the cast left
for one reason or another, to be replaced with one actress after another.

The film like the original show tells the story of three young police ladies
who were selected by the mysterious Charlie to form an elite anti crime sqaud.
Only the Angels know Charlie via his voice over a speakerphone. Charlie
is assisted by Bosley (Bill Murray) who is not only Charlie’s right hand man,
but watches over the angels and preps them for their missions. In the original
series, the angels were former meter maids, crossing guards, and switchboard
operators for the police, that under the guidance of Charlie and Bosley took
on the biggest criminals the world, could offer week after week.
The new angels are cut from a different mix, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, and Drew Barrymore, who also helped produce the film,
are a mixed bag. Barrymore’s character is an ex-bad girl, Diaz plays a smiling ditz, with a lethal roundhouse kick, and Liu is a bad cook, who is known for her lethal muffins. The three ladies form a lethal team and the fight sequences are first rate. Borrowing heavily from the “Matrix” style stop motion fighting, the new Angels are a true mix of beauty and the beast. A fight scene between them and a hitman (Crispan Glover) had the audience cheering early on, and the campy humor and high tech action scenes blended well.

The story involves the Angels attempting to recover some stolen voice technology from the suspected heavy, a Billionaire(Tim Curray) who wants the technology, and can use it to end all privacy by tracking any communication on the planet. What follows while often campy, yet funny, is a good time thrill ride, as the Angels blend action, romance, and comedy as they attempt to solve the case, handle their social lives, and keep their real job a secret from the men in their lives.
Bill Murray was fantastic as Bosley, and he was perfect for the part, easily given a casual, yet hysterical performance. Diaz, Liu, and Barrymore were all first rate, and worked very well with one another.

There were numerous reports that Murray and Liu fought constantly during the filming, and that the script was being rewritten as filming went along. Hollywood insiders were ready to write the film off as a dud. Despite the early rumblings, the film was fun, and should lead to a series of Angels films. Judging from the cheering from the audience, and the fact that the majority of the crowd stayed to watch the credits as well. This film looks like it will be a hit.

3.5 stars out of 5