Based on the hit TV series that ran from 1976 to 1981, Charlie’s Angels follows the exploits of three feisty female private eyes employed by an anonymous millionaire. The film is sewn together with a disposable plot about corporate espionage and revenge. But it’s just an excuse to show beautiful women in various stages of undress engaged in mortal combat.
Let’s face it, Charlie’s Angels sells sexual sizzle. It did on TV. It does here. And while scenes aren’t explicit, form-fitting outfits, cleavage and limp double-entendres rule. Director McG, whose style-over-substance résumé has been limited to TV commercials and music videos, relies on visual gimmickry and more slow-motion tress tossing than a shampoo ad. It’s basically an invitation to ogle. There’s also implied sexual activity by a promiscuous heroine.
Amid sexualizing its women, the movie seeks to empower them. They outwit and outfight emasculated males. A few battles seem especially violent as these ladies are beaten up and tossed about like rag dolls. Often by men. And while profanity isn’t a big problem, an angel shows how tough she is by flipping the finger.
Giddy. Naughty. Sexy. Cautiously nostalgic, Charlie’s Angels wants to connect with baby boomers, but has its sights set squarely on a fresh generation of preadolescent boys who’ve never heard of Farrah Fawcett. It could have used the title of another film that came out this year, but The Big Tease was already taken.