charlie's angels(2001)
dir: joseph mcginty nichol
cameron diaz, drew barrymore, lucy liu, bill murray, crispin glover, tom green

. It’s been years since the original t.v. show was in syndication, so you have to assume that the makers of Charlie’s Angels -- mere children during the heyday of the feathered cut -- remember the show as being much more fast and clever than it really was. 

For the record, the Aaron Spelling-produced action show/jigglefest that (along with The Dukes of Hazzard and Starsky and Hutch) defined deliriously silly late-70s television, was really a lame, plodding affair, only seeming light and witty when compared to leaden contemporaries such as The Six-Million Dollar Man and The Incredible Hulk. The movie re-make, starring Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore, has more wit and speed than all four seasons of the original, refined and distilled.

The jigglefest hasn’t been toned down, and the stars, especially Ms. Diaz, spend much of the film demonstrating the effect of gravity and strenuous physical activity on nubile, aerobicized flesh. The plot is sheer nonsense, involving inane, paranoid software conspiracies, but that isn’t the point. Crispin Glover seems to be the only cast member besides Bill Murray (as Bosley) who gets the joke, giving an outrageous, wordless performance as a psychotic heavy.

Tom Green’s cameo as Barrymore’s tugboat-captain boytoy -- a triumph of celebrity in-joke casting -- has the curious effect of making the movie suddenly draw up short and lose its steam. His brand of awkward, wincing comedy is at such odds with the bright, breathless camp that drives the film that, for a moment, he thanklessly reminds you how quickly you’ll forget every enjoyably silly moment of the movie once you’re halfway out of your seat.