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Charlie's Angels movie review

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Charlie's Angles: Wham! Biff! Kapow!

Yes, it's all action in this non-stop glamour funfest where the plot (what plot?) is not what it's all about. Suspend disbelief as soon as the film starts to roll, and come along for a jolly tongue-in-cheek romp as they send up everything from the original 1970s television series to The Matrix (that film has a lot to answer for).

Natalie, Alex and Dylan (Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore) are three gorgeous energetic all-American gals who just happen to work as private detectives for a millionaire they've never met. The James Bond-style opening scene sets the pace: forget realism, this is about beautiful women having fun saving the world without messing up their lipstick.

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The plot, what there is of it, concerns the Angels (and get ready to hear every song ever written with "angel" in the title) being hired to find a kidnapped software developer. What follows is lots of fun, action, excessive flouncing of hair, effective use of cleavage and more slow motion high kicks in tight pants than you could ever wish for. Oh, and they get their man, too. But that's just the beginning of it as they make full use of their superlative wardrobes and disguise themselves with a series of wig and lip gloss changes. Very clever!

Meanwhile, to more important business - romance. Natalie's courting the nice ordinary boy she met while undercover as a waitress, Alex searches for ways to tell her boyfriend her true vocation: "I'm not really a bikini waxer", and Dylan is breaking the heart of yet another nice ordinary boy (played to good effect by real-life hubby Tom Green). These girls may be superwomen and superstars, but at heart they're just like the rest of us.

The film is fluffy and frivolous, but if you're looking for Dumb Fun, look no further. Reportedly the leads got on like a house on fire, and that's certainly the impression gained here: that they had a terrific time making this, and there's plenty of room for a sequel. Can't wait!

On the downside, Bill Murray as Bosley is left out in the cold a bit in his support role, and he appears uncomfortable in the character, perhaps not enjoying playing second fiddle to three such accomplished stars. It's definitely the girl's show and all else comes second. Tim Curry as the primary villain is wasted and lost all too soon (but we get to see him in a lovely massage scene first). The other villains - with one notable exception - are pretty much cardboard cutouts. Such is the nature of the beast.

I expect that it won't be long before a few of the high street fashion chains are flogging copies of the outfits (black leather bustiers, anyone?). Personally, I'd really love to get my hands on Drew's dark red matte lipstick, perfect against her alabaster complexion and a nice contrast to the sparkly pink of Cameron Diaz's lip gloss.

Go for a bit of an escapist giggle and you'll get just that. As the posters say, Get Some Action.

Send your comments or review Nicky Jenkins
Due for Australian release
For credits and official site details, see below
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Just the facts:

Title: Charlie's Angels (2001)
Written by: Ivan Goff (TV series) and Ben Roberts (TV series) Ryan Rowe (written by) & Ed Solomon (written by) and John August (written by)
Directed by: McG
Produced by:
Edited by: Peter Teschner
Wayne Wahrman
Director of Photography: Russell Carpenter
Michael St. Hilaire
running time: 98mins

The Players: Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Lui, Tim Curry
Official website:
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ISSN 1328-8008
Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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Filed: Nov-2000 : Last updated: 11-May-2001 : Last tested: 8-Jul-2014: Last Compiled: 08-Aug-2014
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