Charlie's Angels mixes nostalgic 1970s elements with action à la The Matrix and unrealistic spy plots à la James Bond, all set within the framework of the popular 1970s TV show of the same name. As three kick-butt private investigators, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, and Cameron Diaz prove to be as beautiful and unlikely as their TV counterparts. The script selectively mixes elements from numerous sources and time periods, with the main criteria being unabashed amusement. Though they're fighting crime in a new age -- the plot revolves around the stolen software of a Bill Gates-esque character -- the issues in the Angels' personal lives remain the same; the theme of "a good man is hard to find" weaves itself throughout the film and forms the basis for the women's vulnerability. But in their work life the trio is all confidence -- whether infiltrating a high-security computer vault, high-kicking a would-be assailant (producer Barrymore decided the Angels would not wield guns), or speeding after the bad guy in a race car, their confidence and skill is unshakable. Sure, they emerge from harried combat with the Thin Man (played with creepy brilliance by Crispin Glover) without even smearing their lipstick, but that's a part of the make-believe fun. There is an episodic, comic-book style to this action film -- no doubt helped along by the music video background of director McG -- and the result is as satisfying and equally agreeable as it is in Austin Powers. It also shares with Powers a spunky blending of modern-day themes with cheesy elements from the '70s. In Charlie's Angels this fusion is exciting, entertaining, and, judging by its box-office success, what people want.
by Jessica Frost review