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  Charlie's Angels Angel's Proper Charlies
Year: 2000
Director: McG
Stars: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Bill Murray, Sam Rockwell, Kelly Lynch, Tim Curry, Crispin Glover, Matt LeBlanc, LL Cool J, Tom Green, Luke Wilson, Sean Whalen, Tim Dunaway, Alex Trebek, Melissa McCarthy, Ned Bellamy, John Forsythe
Genre: Comedy, Action, Thriller, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 3 votes)
Review: It seems to be just another flight over the Pacific, nearing the Californian coast, but there is a difference. One of the passengers is Mr Jones (LL Cool J) who walks through the various sections from back to front until he is stopped by one of the stewards. He flashes his first class ticket and is allowed through, requesting a Scotch in the process, and sits down next to a frazzled-looking chap (Sean Whalen) who has been waiting for him and the diamonds he is demanding and also happens to have a bomb concealed about his person. Before he knows what is going on, the man has been grabbed by Mr Jones and both of them have tumbled out of the plane, hurtling towards the ocean...

But don't worry, this is part of the opening gambit for action epics as popularised by the James Bond franchise; presumably the studio were hoping to do the same with the Charlie's Angels television show from the late nineteen-seventies, which star Drew Barrymore (who was disguised as LL Cool J) had bought the rights to as a vehicle for herself and two other actresses. If the sequel had been a hit, then we might have seen a selection of starlets interchangeably take the Angels roles over the course of the next few years, but it was not to be since everyone hated Charlie's Angel's: Full Throttle (what a name!), stalling the series there and then. Nowadays, even the first movie, which was fairly well-received by audiences, is looked down on in disdain.

Whether that was because the follow-up had affected the goodwill towards its predecessor or whether it was down to female-led straight ahead action movies being welcomed with less patience what with the blokes reasserting themselves in the genre is up for debate, but this Charlie's Angels which simultaneously celebrated and spoofed the source, while doing the same to its own parameters, may not have been any kind of masterpiece, but it did have a kittenish charm. The main theme to be picked up on was "do not underestimate us" as the apparently bubbleheaded heroines proved themselves more than capable of handling the perils of whatever the villains had to throw at them, even if that meant a very uninspired plot twist which saw Charlie himself endangered.

John Forsythe returned to provide the character's voice, a nice link to the original, seeming as though he had been providing the services of this ever-changing trio for decades by this point and the movie was a sequel to the TV show rather than a remake. His henchman Bosley was played by Bill Murray, who made no bones about how dissatisfied he was with the part, and acting alongside Lucy Liu in particular, with reports of a fight breaking out on the set between the two which shut it down for a while - no surprises he had nothing to do with the sequel. Keen to stress the solidarity of the females, our three leading ladies - Barrymore, Liu and dancin' Cameron Diaz - not only filled the movie with empowering collaborative scenes and asides, but ended the credits with a bunch of them as well; according to that, the whole production had gone swimmingly.

McG was the director, proving he knew his way around a light action sequence although the Hong Kong movies he emulated were not under any threat as far as demonstrating worldbeating martial arts skills went. It was assuredly one of the most star-studded ensembles of the turn of the millennium, with each of the Angels getting a "name" boyfriend (Luke Wilson for Cameron, Matt LeBlanc for Lucy and, er, Tom Green for Drew, well, they were an item once), plus other roles filled out by the likes of Sam Rockwell as their kidnapped client, Kelly Lynch as his second-in-command, Tim Curry as the arrogant business rival (getting alarmingly massaged by Liu) and most interesting of all, Crispin Glover raising funds for his own projects in the role of the unspeaking creepy thin man, proving even the most "fillmmaking by committee" effort can throw in an unexpected angle. If it was a candy coloured confection then that was the aim, a slick corporate product in one way, a subversively feminist message movie another - er, up to a point. Music by Ed Shearmur (and loads of old records).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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McG  (1970 - )

American director whose flashy promo work for bands like Smash Mouth and Sugar Ray led him to helm 2000s big-screen update Charlie's Angels and its 2003 sequel, along with a blockbusting Terminator sequel. This Means War was an expensive flop, and 3 Days to Kill did not quite revitalise Kevin Costner's stardom. Also worked on the trashy TV show Fastlane. Real name Joseph McGinty Nichol.

 
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