'Angels' are pretty but not very smart

by Justin Bow | 11/8/00 6:00am

"Charlie's Angels" is a terrible, terrible movie.

That having been said, it's also pretty entertaining. I have to admit that I have never been party to the combination of glory and pure evil that was the original "Charlie's Angels" television show. People I went to the theater with, however, had seen the show and they informed me that the film was quite true to the feel of it. Whether this represents a good thing or a bad thing depends largely on your point of view. What it does mean is that there is a good deal of cheese and camp throughout the movie mixed with a healthy smattering of women kicking things.

Let's talk about the cast. First and most prominently, we have the Angels themselves; Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu. I think their characters had names other than the actors because I don't remember anyone in the film being called Cameron, but they may as well not have had names at all. For instance, if you're one of those people that has problems remembering the names of actors, you could just refer to the Angels by hair color.

This would be fine, since they really don't have any differences in their personalities that matter. Except Drew Barrymore's character, who likes having sex with dorks. The only reason I mention this is that I feel it may be considered important information by a large percentage of Dartmouth men.

Truthfully, this film is all about the Angels. It's right there in the title; "Charlie's Angels." Diaz, Barrymore, and Liu do a fine job portraying the Angels and being hot. Being hot is actually the most important part of being an Angel. Even though they're supposed to be detectives and do detective-related activities, the Angels' major skill involves dressing in slinky, extremely low-cut clothing. Personally, I feel safer knowing that we live in a world where having good breasts can totally replace any and all investigation skill.

In addition to the obvious talents of the three Angels, the director has lined up a whole cast full of stars to frolic around. Bill Murray plays Bosley, the Angels' bumbling male sidekick. Murray has his hands all over the Angels in most scenes and it is my opinion that he agreed to do the film for free just so he could touch his female co-stars.

Villainy is where the movie really shines though. The bad guys are just great; there's Tim Curry, who everyone should recognize from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," among other fine films. I love Tim Curry. I would watch a whole movie starring Tim Curry just for the privilege of seeing this man sneer and act pompous. Fortunately, that's his job in "Charlie's Angels" too. Curry is always an excellent villain and wonderful veteran actor, he is easily the best thing in the movie other than breasts.

The other villains are generally scary looking and insane. The nicest surprise is seeing Crispin Glover, who played George McFly in the "Back to the Future" trilogy, in the role of a psychopath with a sword.

In a normal review, this is where I would talk about the quality of the writing of the movie. I find myself incapable of doing that since this particular film seems to have been written by a five-year-old. The only exception to this is the dialogue, which was written by a dirty old man with a penchant for double entendre. Needless to say, this is not a thinking movie and the plot is flat-out predictable with quite a few places where things just don't make sense.

In short, "Charlie's Angels" is a silly movie with a weak plot. It has moments in which the dialogue and star-studded cast almost redeem the film, but these are brief at best. The one place the film truly shines is in the action scenes; these are both exciting and vaguely original.

Unless you want to go talk through a film about Cameron Diaz's and Drew Barrymore's breasts and their adventures in investigation, don't bother seeing "Charlie's Angels." It will be a nice addition to party fare when it comes out on video, though, so keep that in mind.