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  D.E.B.S. Angela's Angels
Year: 2004
Director: Angela Robinson
Stars: Sara Foster, Jordana Brewster, Meagan Good, Devon Aoki, Jill Ritchie, Geoff Stults, Jimmi Simpson, Holland Taylor, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jessica Cauffiel, Christina Kirk, J.B. Ghuman Jr, Scoot McNairy, Jean St James, Eric Dearborn, Aimee Garcia
Genre: Comedy, Science Fiction, Romance, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: The D.E.B.S. are a top secret band of young women who study at a government academy for training in special missions. One quartet of these agents are led by Max (Meagan Good), and this morning she gets the call from their boss, Mr Phipps (Michael Clarke Duncan) that they have a new assignment. Max rouses her fellow students and they speed off to the college to meet him in the canteen, so after ordering breakfast they are treated to a short lecture on criminal mastermind Lucy Diamond (Jordana Brewster), who they have reason to believe is in town and meeting with a Russian assassin (Jessica Cauffiel) tonight. What they don't know is that this isn't a set up to discuss world domination, but a date, because Lucy is looking for love...

This film began its life as a comic book doodled by its creator, the writer and director here, Angela Robinson, and eventually made it to becoming an acclaimed short film. The next logical step was to make a feature length movie from the concept, sort of Charlie's Angels mixed with James Bond for girls; a certain type of girls, at any rate. So it was that the trappings of a traditional spy caper, with action scenes, secret organisations and wily villains were adapted into a squeaky clean romance. The difference being that the villain and the girl the hero gets to fall in love with are one and the same, and that hero isn't a hero but a heroine.

Once our four do-gooders are at the restaurant and unbelievably suspended from swings in the ceiling (does nobody look up in restaurants?), they chat amongst themselves waiting for Lucy to arrrive, the main topic of conversation being that Amy (Sara Foster) has broken up with her boyfriend that day. You can see where this is going, and sure enough, after accidentally blowing their cover the girls have to chase after a fleeing Lucy, guns blazing and feeling brave because nobody has ever survived a fight with her - or so they say. Amy and Lucy bump into each other in the oversized storeroom and hold one another at gunpoint, but what's this? Lucy's date wasn't going very well, yet it seems as though here is the woman of her dreams. Although how does Amy feel?

Love is the air, and through various machinations Lucy contrives to sweep Amy away from her bedroom, with whiny companion Janet (Jill Ritchie) tagging along and constantly reminding Amy of her duty. One thing leads to another and Amy is put into a very difficult position, as she knows Lucy isn't as bad as they made out, but has to pretend she is tracking her down to be arrested. And that's part of the problem: Lucy may steal on a grand scale, but this is made light of and the villain isn't really enough of a bad girl. Granted, this is a frothy comedy, but it didn't have to be so mild. Where a pretty good action movie could be made from this premise, it's clear that Robinson is more entranced by the love affair, and the result is a pleasing novelty whose heart is the right place but needed to be a lot edgier to make a more satisfying impression. But an edgier film wouldn't have been as accessible, I suppose. Pity about the pro-smoking agenda, too. Music by Steven M. Stern.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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