Why I love the original Charlie’s Angels films

To prepare for the release of the latest Charlie’s Angels film (see review here), I decided to rewatch the previous two starring Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore. It wasn’t really necessary as I know them so well I can quote many lines but it was an excuse to watch two movies that I love so much. And why I am such a big fan, you ask? Let me count the ways.

The cast

I LOVE Cameron Diaz – and really want her to come out of retirement – and I loved her being the nerdy goof who could also kick ass. When the movie came out, I had a companion book with profiles of the characters and I decided I was Natalie, hers. And it was also amazing to see her team up with two other big stars, who each brought something different to the table, like Liu’s physical skills and Barrymore’s edginess. All three were hilarious too.

The sense of sisterhood

A trio of women teaming up to fight crime? Yes please! I also loved the fact that they weren’t just work buddies, they were firm friends who were there for each other always. The chemistry and camaraderie between them were so good!

The slo-mo stunts

Their Matrix-style slo-mo stunts were totally ridiculous but absolutely amazing. Their fight with the Creepy Thin Man in the alleyway? Epic. Their fight against the O’Grady mob? Incredible. You definitely had to suspend your belief with these ludicrous stunts, some of which defied the laws of physics, as well as their abilities to swiftly discern the meaning of clues with little info.

No guns

This sounds like a weird thing to praise it for but I find action scenes featuring guns so boring in comparison to physical hand to hand combat ones. It’s far more engaging. I’m sad the new one involves guns.

The dance sequences

This is generally Diaz’s domain and I love her dance moments in both movies. Whether she’s dancing to Baby Got Back at Soul Train, U Can’t Touch This with the girls in her new place or Donna Summer’s Last Dance at Pete’s high school reunion, I enjoyed them all (although my clear favourite is below). They are ridiculous and contribute nothing to the plot but who cares – they bring me joy.

The soundtrack

Both films had a killer soundtrack that was largely filled with The Prodigy, which I have no issue with. From Firestarter, Smack My Bitch Up and Breathe, these fight scenes had epic soundtracks. It’s also worth mentioning that Destiny’s Child’s Independent Women Part I is a top tier soundtrack song and I’m quite fond of Pink’s Feel Good Time from the sequel. The new team-up with Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey didn’t quite do the trick.

The supporting cast

Bill Murray! Sam Rockwell! Tim Curry! Demi Moore! So many great actors were in these films – not to mention Matt LeBlanc and Luke Wilson as the love interests. Upon rewatching these, I was particularly amused by seeing a young Shia LaBeouf and the late great Carrie Fisher in small roles.

 

The 2019 Charlie’s Angels has a great cast and the feeling of sisterhood is established towards the end, but it sadly didn’t have the rest of these. I wasn’t expecting it to be exactly the same but I personally would have liked to see Kristen Stewart, Ella Balinska, and Naomi Scott doing some slo-mo fights with no guns. I also wanted it to be more fun, frivolous and ridiculous rather than a standard action movie. To check out more of my thoughts you can read my review.

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