Summary of the "Charlie's Angels" Movie

by David Harris

"Charlie's Angels" is the movie version of the popular late-1970s/early-1980s television series that starred Farrah Fawcett. This 2000 action/adventure comedy starred Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu, and it was directed by McG. John Forsythe, who voiced the unseen Charlie in the television series, reprised his role in the film version.

The Angels

The "Angels" are a trio of private investigators that carry out tasks for the millionaire Charlie. Cameron Diaz played the bubbly Natalie Cook, the brains behind the outfit. Drew Barrymore (who also produced the film) was the fun-loving Dylan Sanders, while Lucy Liu played the classy but tough Alex Munday. The Angels are assisted by Charlie's assistant Bosley, who was played by Bill Murray in the movie. The Angels never see Charlie -- they only receive instructions through Bosley or via a speaker from the millionaire's office.

The Case

In the film, the Angels are sent on an assignment to locate Eric Knox (Sam Rockwell), a genius who created novel voice-recognition software. Charlie believes Knox has been kidnapped by his arrogant competitor, Roger Corwin (Tim Curry). Other suspects include Knox's business partner Vivian Wood (Kelly Lynch) and the "Thin Man" (Crispin Glover, of "Back to the Future" fame), a creepy guy who keeps a sword in his cane and has a fetish for women's hair.

The Action

As the Angels attempt to unravel the mystery behind Knox's disappearance, they go undercover in a series of humorous disguises. These disguises included belly dancer and masseuse outfits, which gave McG the opportunity to show off the ladies in skimpy or tight clothing. The film also featured a good deal of kung-fu fighting, including a few scenes where Glover got to show off his fighting skills. The Angels soon find out that the Knox kidnapping is an elaborate ploy to get revenge on Charlie himself.

Reception

Charlie's Angels received generally good reviews and grossed $124 million at the box office. Most critics complained that the film's plot was not particularly novel, but the campy set pieces and action scenes, combined with its likable stars, were enough to make the movie a success. Critic Peter Travers from Rolling Stone called them "kickass Barbies" who brought heart to the film. Three years later, a sequel, "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle," was released. "Full Throttle" received harsher critical reception than its predecessor, but it still grossed well at the box office.

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