Charlie's Angels is fun and undemanding, and it moves at an agreeably zippy pace. It's based on the 1970s action show - about three glamorous women detectives working for a mysterious millionaire they've never met (Charlie, voiced by John Forsythe). Their assignments are meted out by Bosley (Bill Murray).This remake has a suitably preposterous plot involving stolen computer technology and satellite tracking, which is just an excuse for Matrix-inspired martial arts and action (even a car chase!). It's only when the dumb revelation about the villains occurs - about halfway through - that the film temporarily grinds to a halt.
All three actresses (Lucy Liu, Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz) attack their Angelic roles with the right spirit, and share a real sense of camaraderie. But it's Cameron Diaz who lights up the screen (her eyes bulge just before she smiles, and it's a winning combination). For a former model, she's appealingly unself-conscious; when she dances around in her underwear, her goofiness makes us laugh - she's not being narcissistic or putting on a display. Her timing is spot-on, and she brings some daffy humour to her fight scenes.
The cryptically-named McG (Joseph McGinty Nichol, who perhaps wanted to preserve his anonymity for other projects if this wasn't a hit) directs Charlie's Angels like one of his music videos, and the editing from Peter Teschner and Wayne Wahrman keeps it snappy and diverting. Russell Carpenter has disappointingly shot the film more like a TV show - the colours sometimes look muted and washed-out. I don't know whether it's intentional or not, but all the irony in the world isn't worth a drab-looking film.Charlie's Angels is feather-light - I'm struggling to remember much more about it, and I only saw it the other night. The film succeeds in hitting its intended target, but remaking a mediocre TV show isn't aiming all that high, is it?