High stakes over-the-top action scenes, set destroying explosions, and three beautiful kickass women with brains and booty to match... count me in! This self-aware remake of the classic 70's TV series stars Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Bill Murray as they take on a cliché assignment to save the world from a tech-evil villain. Directed by McG, a director known for taking A-listers and putting them in B-grade comedies such as 'I Feel Pretty' and 'This Means War', Charlie's Angels (2000) knows it is going to be bad, but runs with the idea so much it trues around and becomes brilliant.
Natalie (Diaz), Dylan (Barrymore), and Alex (Liu), also known as 'The Angels', are tasked by their billionaire boss Charlie to track down kidnapped software genius Eric Knox (Sam Rockwell) who had gone missing. After mild investigating (as is usually the case in spy movies), Knox is believed to have been kidnapped by business rival Roger Corwin (Tim Curry). Using more high-tech intel, the Angels decipher their target and deploy high-tech gadgets and disguises to track down knox only to learn there is more to this narrative then initially meets the eye. A history of bad blood and revenge unfolds on screen as the Angels try to eliminate the emerging 'bad guys' with their kick ass skills (*pun intended) and try and save Charlie from a crazed mad-mad focused only on his annihilation.
While each one of the Angels play their part beautifully, the ditsy yet complex Natalie, portrayed hilariously by Diaz, takes the cake. From the plot directed obsession with 'a boy', her obliviousness to her sex appeal (even during fight scenes) to her 'owning it and bugger the world' mentality while dancing on stage in a night club (in front of a less than impressed crowd), Diaz's performance and character is incredible. From the very start of the film when she tells a delivery man he can "...stick it in her slot", to rocking Sir Mix-A-Lot's 'Baby Got Back', every time Diaz comes on screen, there's a giggle to be had.
Then again, all the Angels have their character quirks and while not quite the stand out Diaz is, Barrymore and Liu are just as funny in places - but more in a kick ass kind of way. Barrymore parodies the alpha-male stereotype brilliantly, shacking up with the villain 'James Bond' style, while having the martial arts skills of a floating 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' when evading capture. On the contrary, Liu plays the 'perfect' and great at everything dominate leader, who is by-the-book type we see at least one of in every action film. Both bring quality to the table which with each additional watch uncovers more of their satirical subtlety.
The villains, plot and template are taken straight from a James Bond film, but boy does Charlies Angels poke fun at the absurdity of it all through its approach. From Helicopter chase scenes with explosion jumps - in the nick-of-time - to Matrix style zolly action shots gesturing for the badies to come closer and fight, it's all just one big meta-joke. However, while it doesn't take itself seriously with plot, it does take its role as a satirical film very classy, and its visuals and acting are very professionally. It's script does not chase cheap laughs through forth wall breaks and direct references to itself. In fact, surface level, Charlie's Angels is just a simple b-grade action film.
In summary, Charlie's Angels is a hilarious action film which has a laugh at its self through intelligent means. It has immense re-watch value, incredibility funny characters and acting, and great visuals and direction. While the story is one as old as action films, and nothing about the reveals is really a reveal, Charlie's Angles proves it doesn't matter. A great timeless classic in the comedy genre that any film buff will enjoy revisiting.