November 10, 2000

Charlie's Angels

charlies Sexy, sweet, and action-packed. I loved the whole thing. A guilty pleasure? Yes, it is. Some Friday nights I just need some mindless visual stimulation after a long work week: car chases, fist fights, cool camera work, exciting music, special effects. Instead of browsing through all my options streaming on the Roku, on Friday in 2016 I went old-school and cracked open my DVD wallet! Right at the front is a movie full of empty calories I truly enjoyed as empty calories in 2000: Charlie's Angels. I was nuts for DVDs after getting my first player circa 1998, but I don't think I had watched this disc in over a decade.
Wow, was I in for a surprise. Charlie's Angels has not aged well. At. All. This film may be the most contemporary movie ever made.

  • The first big surprise is the music. Except for a couple of 80s classics (Spandau Ballet, Wham!) the soundtrack screams "it's 1999!": Korn, Enigma, Dee-Lite, Blur, Fatboy Slim, Blink 182, and a whole fight scene scored to "Smack My Bitch Up". Blerg!
  • The fight sequences that seemed so modern and dynamic in 2000 now look like sad knockoffs of The Matrix: lots of wirework and physical impossibilities in a movie otherwise meant to take place on Earth. 
  • The movie is also overstuffed with "speed ramping", and excessive slow-motion, and the CGI opening title verged on parody.

Other Problems:
Drew Barrymore's boyfriend Tom Green has an extended cameo where it seems like he's making up all his lines. Tom Green was a comedy star in 2000, but he's since vanished from pop culture, making his presence seen weird.
Bill Murray is charming, but that doesn't mean he's good in everything: he seems to be winging it through this movie. This perfunctory money-grab looks even worse when bookended by his appearance in Rushmore in 1998 and The Royal Tenembaums in 2001.
Maybe this isn't a problem if I only noticed it in 2016, but the soundtrack is full of songs with the word "Angel" in the title, which seemed forced.

(photo right: Drew Barrymore with her jumpsuit open, can rotate my tires anytime)