Rewatching Charlie’s Angels

I was houses sitting last night, and I started to watch the 1974 version of Murder on the Orient Express, and got about 15 minutes through the film. There is a whole piece to be written about Agatha Christie adaptations (the David Suchet TV show is its peak, but I don’t like how they approached this classic novels), but that’s not happening today. I got bored and decided I wanted to watch something fun. Charlie’s Angels was on Netflix, and that was all I needed. Charlie’s Angels was a film that was very important to me between the ages of 10 and 14. I watched it whenever I went to my cousin’s house on a pirated DVD from Bali. The whole film didn’t fit onto one disc, so we had to change it over partway through. It’s been many years since the last time I watched it, so I decided to give it a go. There are some problems I wasn’t aware of when I loved it, but it’s still a fun film. The plot holds up, too. I didn’t really care about the plot when I was younger, I just enjoyed women kicking butt.

Charlie's Angels

Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu

The Plot (Spoilers and Stuff)

I remembered very little of the plot, other than that there was a fake kidnapping and the Angels break into a company. Eric Knox was kidnapped, and his voice recognition software stolen. His business partner, Vivian Wood, suspects rival Roger Corwin of this treachery. Corwin’s business Red Star owns GPS satellites, which could be used with the voice recognition software to find anyone in the world. The team infiltrates Corwin’s network and finds Knox, and for some reason there’s a high speed car chase culminating with a showdown on a bridge that is completely devoid of traffic.

The Angels infiltrate Red Star to access their mainframe (no remote hacking here) to see if they have Knox’s software (they don’t). We see assassins/contract killers (although they were unsuccessful) come for Alex and Natalie, while Knox seduces Dylan and Vivian attempts to seduce Bosley. Natalie finds out that the assassin was sent by Vivian, and Dylan confronts Knox. Unfortunately, Knox set the whole thing up to gain access to Red Star’s GPS satellites to find and kill Charlie. They need Bosley to get access to Charlie, so he’s kept prisoner in an old fort. The Angels come and save him, beat the bad guys, and celebrate on a beach. This is the most I have ever paid attention to the plot, and I was surprised to find that it holds up.

The Angels

I wanted to be Drew Barrymore’s Dylan when I grew up. I still do.

I love all of them. I understand the criticisms about ‘jiggle television‘ in regards to the original series and how it could be applied to this film, but I don’t care. I loved seeing women solve crimes and beat up bad guys. That was all that mattered.

Bill Murray improvises

I have no idea whether this is actually improv, but I’m choosing to believe it is. The only thing missing from this fantastic clip is when he whittles a bar of soap into a fake gun with his teeth.

The Boyfriends

When I was 10 I didn’t quite understand Dylan’s relationship with The Chad, which is understandable. Now I can tell it’s a casual relationship. Luke Wilson is perfect as Pete, and I love his dynamic with Natalie. As for whoever Matt LeBlanc is playing:

 

The Sequel

I only saw Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle once. It was my first experience of disappointing sequels, and I don’t remember the source of the disappointment. It could have been Bill Murray’s absence due to a reported feud with Lucy Liu (Murray makes a statement refuting this here), the plot I barely remember, or the moment in the film when Dylan makes out with the Creepy Thin Guy.

Josie and the Pussycats

I watched Josie and the Pussycats for the first time in February (in 2001 I was busy watching Charlie’s Angels and rereading Harry Potter), and I was delighted to see a Charlie’s Angels reference:

IMDb Trivia: Above the picture of the girls on one of the magazine covers the headline says that Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu were cast to play the band in an upcoming movie. Peter Teschner, the editor of Josie and the Pussycats was also the editor of Charlie’s Angels (2000), featuring these three actresses.

After I finished the film, I wanted to watch Charlie’s Angels immediately, but I couldn’t find it streaming anywhere. I don’t know what’s happened between then and now, but I found it on Netflix last night, and it was great.

Other thoughts:

  • The pirated DVD was eventually replaced by a DVD set with this film, Full Throttle, and 3 episodes of the original television series, which I enjoyed.
  • Chicago took over as the movie I watched at my cousin’s house.
  • Melissa McCarthy is in this!
  • I enjoy both Bill Murray and Lucy Liu, so I am choosing to believe that it was blown out of proportion.
  • Elizabeth Banks might be directing a reboot, which I would love. On the other hand, I don’t know if I really want to see anyone other than Barrymore, Liu and Diaz, even though the Angels all eventually retire.
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