Volume 94, Issue 38
Tuesday, November 18, 2000
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
TV remake not worth the effort
Photo by Darren Michaels
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Bill Murray
Directed By: McG
By Chad Finklestein
Charlie's Angels, the new movie based on the jiggly TV show from the 70s, is not so much a movie as it is a series of random scenes that fill an inconsistent two hours. The female version of James Bond, this film is obviously not plot-centred, but then again, it's not really a film either.
Rather, it's a showcase of some of the best music videos ever filmed. But, like music video rotation, each segment can only last a few minutes before the song gets old and an entirely different package with an entirely different feel, completely unrelated to all those that preceded it, appears. This is exactly how Charlie's Angels feels.
Exciting yes. Slow points never. A movie not quite. Director McG has tried his best, but fails to create a cohesive film. Here's a simple guide to help any skeptic distance themselves from what might seem like a worthy investment of time, but slightly beneath the surface lies an embarrassing travesty.
Face Value: Charlie's Angels is a great experiment with the limits of action-film techniques, skillfully applying the gravity-defying, mouth-dropping special effects of The Matrix.
Reality: Charlie's Angels does employ those revolutionary and mind-boggling camera angles with high-flying bodies, but it was already done in The Matrix. There's nothing innovative here.
Face Value: Charlie's Angels is a great example for teenage girls. It's the cinematic equivalent of the Spice Girls, portraying independent women who can take care of themselves in a male-dominated society.
Reality: Girl Power is non-existent with these three (Diaz, Barrymore and Liu) only thwarting evil because their breasts are more distracting than any weapon. From the first nauseating 10 minutes, where the heroines smile and put their arms around each other after a successful mission, it becomes apparent the Angels will only giggle themselves to victory, getting seemingly dumber throughout the movie and more vulnerable to a man's authority.
Face Value: Well, James Bond movies aren't really known for their plots. They're just an excuse for unrealistic-but-fun action.
Reality: Yeah, but at least Bond is given an assignment and follows it through. Granted, this movie is only an excuse for excessive cleavage and action, there is nothing from scene-to-scene that holds it together.
In one scene, The Angels attempt a Mission: Impossible-style break-in to steal a highly-guarded computer chip, but arrive there with intimate knowledge of the security set-up without having ever been there before. Obviously, it's unfair to nitpick but seriously, the hardest security to break through in all of Los Angeles and they just knew it in advance? Even Bond is more realistic than this.
Face Value: By criticizing Charlie's Angels for being inane and empty, you're missing the point: the original television show was an equally bland exhibition of hard nipples and big explosions. The essence of the show was its stupidity.
Reality: Fine...then why make it into a movie?
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