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Heaven must be missing an angel . . or three

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 98 minutes

UK Certificate: 15


“Oh, not ANOTHER movie from an old TV show” comes the knowing quip from LL Cool J, making one of this movie's many big name cameo appearances. Arriving just minutes into the opening scene, that should come as indication enough that “Charlie's Angels” doesn't take itself particularly seriously. It's a good job.

Taking its lead from the 70s TV series of the same name and chucking a fashionable scoop of martial arts into the mixture, this big screen debut from the slightly pretentiously-named “McG” takes us on a 100mph roller-coaster ride of pure mediocrity.

Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu are the “angels” in question – “and elite crime-fighting unit backed by an anonymous millionaire”. Which means taking their orders from the complete stranger that is Charlie (voiced by John Forsythe) and using the bungling Bosley (Bill Murray) as a go-between. For the purposes of this flick, the tricky trio have been hired to investigate the supposed kidnap of software mogul Eric Knox (Sam Rockwell), with media magnate Roger Corwin (Tim Curry) and hair-sniffing deviant “Thin Man” (Crispin Glover) the most likely suspects. The techno-babble spouted along the way is recited so convincingly it's almost as if it actually makes some degree of sense. Note the use of the word “almost” in that last sentence.

Try not to worry too much about the plot – it's basically non-existent. Each twist is really just another excuse for the girls to change costume and try on more wigs than Elton John, before leading to another glitzy action sequence attached to the last one by nothing in particular.

There are some chuckle-worthy moments, thanks predominantly to Bill Murray who, let's face it, can produce a laugh out of even the most paltry of scripts (which is pretty handy in this case). Diaz, Barrymore and Liu, meanwhile, genuinely seem to be having a great time – it's just a pity watching the end product isn't quite as much fun.

It's Got: A natty soundtrack and a star-studded cast.

It Needs: To give that star-studded cast a decent story and script to work with.

DVD Extras Trailers, featurettes, deleted and extended scenes, audio commentary, filmographies, bloopers, music vids and weblinks. DVD Extras Rating: 8/10


Pure eye-candy – but unfortunately that alone isn’t enough to carry an entire movie.