Charlie's Angels

Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Bill Murray.
Running Time: 98 mins
Rated: MA 15+

Many people will remember "Charlie's Angels" from the television series in the 1970s. It was a ratings winner for years. Drew Barrymore and her Flower Films Company have decided it was time for a revival.

The cinematic version of "Charlie's Angels" does not claim much for itself. Nor should it. It is meant to be an escapist film filled with a few laughs and several action sequences. It achieves this very limited ambition. It is, in part, a pastiche of the television series and the action thriller genre.

When computer tycoon Eric Knox (Sam Rockwell) is kidnapped, Charlie (John Forsyth) calls into action his special agents Natalie (Diaz), Dylan (Barrymore) and Alex (Liu). After several car chases, explosions and stunts on a plane and a boat the women realise things are not as they seem and that they are in danger of being killed by the baddies. I won't give away
how it finishes!

This film needs many distractions to save the audience from focusing on the banality of the script, the corny acting and the stupidity of the plot. The producers hired pop music director McG (that is his legal name) to do what he does best - wall-to-wall music and up to twenty five edits a minute. I have never seen more songs listed in a feature film's credit roll. There
are 41 of them in just under 98 minutes and the series of cuts made me dizzy. "Charlie's Angels" is cinematic video hits.

For all the silliness of the television show upon which this film is based, it had a political message in the 1970s. It was the first programme where women were the special action agents and not the romantic damsels to be saved or seduced.

"Charlie's Angels", the film, may well borrow the TV formulae, but, alas, none of the invention. It could even have been a better film if the writers and the producers had the courage of their convictions and had taken the parody all the way. As it is, we are left wondering if we are to take any of it seriously. I hope not.

Richard Leonard SJ

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