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Charlie's Angels

Why can't other movies get it right?

Don't bother me with complex character development, historical accuracy or other such dull intellectual crap. Want to know the secret to making money in Hollywood? Pretty women in sexy outfits kicking ass.

The new action spectacular Charlie's Angels lives by this motto, and delivers a surprisingly pleasurable experience. Other films could learn a few lessons from it.

The plot begins simply enough. Charlie's Angels are hired to rescue a kidnapped engineer from a mean old mega-powerful businessman. Naturally, it becomes a great deal more complicated than that, but nowhere along the convoluted way, do the filmmakers lose sight of what's important. Pretty women in sexy outfits kicking ass.

The pretty women in sexy outfits kicking ass are Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu. The play, Dylan, Alex and Natalie, though I'm not exactly sure which is which, nor does it matter. Each of them has moments of goofy brilliance, each of them performs incredible stunts, each of them kicks ass.

The villains also kick some serious ass. Especially eternally creepy freak Crispin Glover, who has a number of really cool fight sequences with the ladies, and manages to remind absolutely nobody of George McFly.

This is not a movie that will remembered at Academy Award time, but it doesn't want to be, it doesn't try to be, and it concentrates on what it does best, show pretty women in sexy outfits kicking ass. It is, of course, based on the unforgettable 70's TV Show of the same name, and John Forsythe, who voiced the elusive Charlie in the show reprises his role here as well. But Angels 2000 takes the scantily clad heroines and turns them into martial art masters who leap and twirl and smite and punish as if they're trying out for Matrix 2.

It's such a simple formula, really. Pretty women in sexy outfits kicking ass. And yet so often, filmmakers miss the mark. For example, Battlefield Earth had no pretty women in sexy outfits kicking ass, and it was a total bomb. Likewise, the Patriot is pretty-women-in-sexy-outfits-kicking-ass-less, and it was a major disappointment. Sometimes they get the formula mixed up, and the results are worse than ever. Speed 2 had a pretty woman, but she was wearing a life preserver most of the time, not a sexy outfit, and she didn't kick much ass, either. When Stella Grooved Her Shakey Thang has a pretty woman, and she wore some sexy outfits, but she isn't doing any ass-kicking at all, and the movie was a disaster.

Throughout the history of cinema, audiences have turned to pretty women in sexy outfits kicking ass. Sigourney Weaver in Aliens. Carrie Fisher in Star Wars. Heck, Erin Brockovich is a very pretty woman in some very sexy outfits doing some serious legal ass-kicking. All these movies were big hits, and I think now we all know why.

Charlie's Angels is that rare movie that dares to be silly, campy and frivolous and yet manages to not be lame. It is both a spoof and a tribute of the original series from whence it came, and yet it still manages to take the franchise to another level.

Is this a good movie? Yes. Is this a great movie? Sure. If you want to spend two hours where the question of who got more votes in the Dade County recount is the farthest thing from your mind, pop in and have a good time. I'm giving Charlie's Angels 4 Babylons. I suggest you do the same.

Editor's Note:

When the SMC told me that he was going to see this last night, I thought perhaps I'd never see him again, as he'd have finally seen his perfect movie and would spontaneously combust.

I wish that I were so lucky.

Charlie's Angels
Rated: PG-13
Directed By: McG (Which I could've sworn was a new burger at McDonalds, but I may be wrong)
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Bill Murray, Tim Curry, Crispin Glover, Matt LeBlanc, LL Cool J, Tom Green, Luke Wilson, Sam Rockwell, Kelly Lynch, John Forsythe and all those sexy outfits. They kick ass.

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