Charlie's Angels [2000]

For every TV-into-movie success like The Fugitive, there are dozens of uninspired films like The Mod Squad. Happily--and surprisingly--this breezy update of the seminal '70s jiggle show falls into the first category, with Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore (who also produced), and Lucy Liu starring as the hair-tossing, fashion-setting, kung fu-fighting trio employed by the mysterious Charlie (voiced by the original Charlie, John Forsythe). When a high-tech programmer (Sam Rockwell) is kidnapped, the angels seek out the suspects, with the daffy Bosley (Bill Murray in a casting coup) in tow. A happy, cornball popcorn flick, Charlie's Angels is played for laughs with plenty of ribbing references to the old TV show as well as modern caper films like Mission: Impossible. McG, a music video director making his feature film debut (usually a death warrant for a movie's integrity), infuses the film with plenty of Matrix-style combat pyrotechnics, and the result is the first successful all-American Hong Kong-style action flick. Plenty of movies boast a New Age feminism that has their stars touting their sexuality while being their own women, but unlike something as obnoxious as Coyote Ugly, Angels succeeds with a positive spin on Girl Power for the new millennium (Diaz especially sizzles in her role of crack super agent/airhead blonde). From the send-up of the TV show's credit sequence to the outtakes over the end credits, Charlie's Angels is a delight. --Doug Thomas

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