Charlie's Angels

The good news about Charlie's Angels is that it is not as bad as people expected. There were reportedly seventeen writers used on the film (filming began before there was an ending written), many women rejected the role of the third angel before Lucy Liu came on, and there were rumblings of discontent amongst actors during production. The bad news is that all these factors are still evident in the final product. The important thing is that everybody who was part of Charlie's Angel's recognized immediately that this entire movie is essentially a joke. A tongue-in-cheek attitude pervades the entire movie and keeps it watchable (well, barely). Any attempt to take anything in this movie seriously would make the final product absolutely laughable, not in the way the makers wanted.

A ridiculous plot revolves around stolen voice recognition software that would allow a user to pinpoint someone else's location over the phone, anywhere in the world. Natalie (Cameron Diaz, Being John Malkovich, Any Given Sunday), Dylan (Drew Barrymore, Never Been Kissed, Ever After), and Alex (Lucy Liu, Shanghai Noon, Play It To The Bone) must rescue the inventor of this software (Sam Rockwell, The Green Mile, Galaxy Quest) from rich businessman Roger Corwin (Tim Curry, Sorted, The Rugrats Movie). For a movie with so many writers, there is very little original material. Every plot twist is transparent, and for those who are of a slower persuasion, the film spells everything out multiple times to hammer the point in. Diaz, Barrymore, and Liu seem to be having fun with their roles, so no harm there, aside from the setback to women's rights. But it would be nice to see Liu play a role other than that of a vamp.

Oddly enough, the best roles go to the men. Bosley (Bill Murray, Hamlet, Cradle Will Rock), Natalie's boyfriend Pete (Luke Wilson, Committed, Soul Survivors), Tom Green (Road Trip, Freddy Got Fingered) and Matt LeBlanc (Ed, Galaxy Quest) are the most enjoyable to watch, possibly because they are on screen for such a short amount of time. Murray's dry, sardonic wit is a nice change of pace from the nonstop sensory assault, and Green is just, well, Tom Green. John Forsythe, the voice of the original Charlie, also returns. But acting is not really the point for Charlie's Angels. People are secondary to everything happening on screen.

Apparently, Director McG (full name Joseph McGinty Mitchell) thought that if he could distract the viewer, they would overlook Charlie's Angels' shortcomings. The movie is a continuous music video (McG is a music video director) with jiggling breasts and assorted other cheesecake shots, flowing hair, gravity defying stunts, and loud music. And never before has so much been so boring. The movie never slows down long enough to develop any plot or character, which may be a good thing since any thought about the story may just aggravate people. Take away all the slow-motions shots and the running time would be much shorter (and more bearable). Ryan Rowe, Ed Solomon (Men In Black) and John August (Go) get screen credit for writing the movie, and look for every excuse to put the Angels in various settings in skimpy skintight outfits. The sad thing is that most likely Charlie's Angels will make millions of dollars, spawn a franchise and lesser imitations.

Haro Rates It: Not That Good.
1 hour, 38 minutes, Rated PG-13 for action violence, innuendo, and some sensuality/nudity.

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