Charlie’s Angels (2000)

Remember when McG was a thing?

The director of Charlie’s Angels began his show biz career by producing Sugar Ray’s first album, co-writing their earworm song “Fly” on their second and directing videos and documentaries for Smash Mouth, The Offspring and Korn. This led to ads and finally, to this remake of the 1970’s TV series, moving it a more spy-friendly direction.

After Terminator SalvationWe Are Marshall, the Chuck TV series and several abortive attempts to direct bigger studio films, he has seemed to settle into directing Netflix films like Rim of the World and The Sitter.

But man, for a while, he was the toast of the town.

This movie combines everything late 90’s into one tidy little time capsule for you. Cameron Diaz, producer Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu are the Angels for this generation, not jiggling and definitely more aware of their sex appeal. They work for Bosley — Bill Murray, who famously treated Liu like offal to the point that she physically attacked him — and the always unseen Charlie (voiced by John Forsythe, just like the series).

For that matter, McG has always claimed that Murray beat him up on the set. I’m sure he had his reasons.

The Angels’ mission? Find and rescue a software genius (Sam Rockwell) from an evil communication magnate (Tim Curry). Along the way, they encounter a hair-sniffing lunatic that continually gets the best of them in fights. As played by Crispin Glover, this movie represents the actor’s return to the mainstream while remaining a complete maniac, which is always appreciated. After all, he was supposed to have speaking parts, but Glover refused to voice them, wanting his character to be even more mysterious.

Of course, Rockwell is really evil and tries to kill the Angels and Charlie, who he blames for killing his father in Vietnam. And oh yeah — Tom Green, Matt LeBlanc and Luke Wilson all show up as boyfriends.

The real heroine of the film? Barrymore, who bought the movie rights to the show and pocketed $40 million on this movie and $80 million on the sequel. Seeing as how she had to read through thirty versions of the script, I’d say it was all worth it in the end.

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