If we can agree on anything, it’s this. The 2000 remake of Charlie’s Angels far outweighs the most recent attempt in every way imaginable and thankfully, the Cameron Diaz version is now available for all to enjoy on Netflix.
The 2000 version of Charlie’s Angels stars Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu as Natalie, Dylan, and Alex, respectively, three tough and talented private investigators who work for the Townsend Agency and Charlie, its owner, who is never seen but often heard. Not only do the “Angels” use their brains to work out problems, but they also use their formidable beauty to get in and out of sticky situations as well.
The feature film is based on the ’70 TV series of the same name that starred Kate Jackson, Jacyln Smith, and the late Farrah Fawcett. Whereas the TV series leaned more toward drama, with some sex appeal tossed in, the 2000 film eschewed the drama for a more comedic approach while leaning quite a bit on sex appeal as well. How can you not when you have Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu?
This Charlie’s Angels also returns John Forsythe (Dynasty) as the voice of Charlie, a role he played during the TV series 5 seasons. The Angels are assisted by Bosley, here played by Bill Murray (taking over for David Doyle).
We pick up our story with the new Angels performing a harrowing, if totally unbelievable, takedown of a bomb-wielding airplane passenger. After LL Cool J (seriously) grabs the bomber and jumps with him out of the 747, they parachute down only to have another quick-moving parachutist cut the bomb off the bomber right before it explodes.
The trio then parachutes into a waiting speedboat piloted by a bikini-wearing Natalie (Cameron Diaz). When they land, LL Cool J is then revealed to actually be Dylan (Drew Barrymore) in disguise. The tone has been set and it doesn’t let up.
The Angels are assigned to find Eric Knox (Sam Rockwell), who is believed to be kidnapped. Know is a software genius who’s developed a voice-recognition system considered revolutionary. The feeling is, per Charlie, that Knox was kidnapped by Roger Corwin (Tim Curry), owner of Redstar, a communications satellite company.
The Angels infiltrate a large party held by Corwin. At the party, they come across a man who they had previously seen on the Know kidnapping surveillance videos. Calling him the “Thin Man”, they face off against him, losing the battle. But they do end up rescuing Knox in the process.
In order for the Angels to determine if the Thin Man stole the voice-recognition software, they now must infiltrate Redstar. They do, planting a device that will allow them to explore Redstar’s computer system remotely. As they retire for the evening, they give Bosley the laptop that communicates with Redstar. Dylan finds herself in bed with Knox while the other Angels are on their own.
But things aren’t what they appear. Both Natalie and Alex are attacked that night, Bosley is taken, and Corwin winds up dead at the hands of the Thin Man. It is then Knox decides to inform Dylan that his kidnapping was a complete set-up to have the Angels help him gain access to Redstar. His ultimate plan – to use his software along with Redstar’s satellites to hunt down Charlie, whom Knox thinks killed his father in Vietnam.
While the set-up appears to be serious, the movie is played strictly for fun. With all the stunts involved, it is difficult to take the movie as anything but. The sex appeal is in full force, the action is in high gear, and this continuation of the Charlie’s Angels TV series is a fun watch.
The feature was written by the trifecta of Ryan Rowe, Ed Solomon, and John August and was brought to the big screen by director, producer and former record producer McG (Joseph McGinty Nichol). McG’s credits include We Are Marshall, This Means War, 3 Days to Kill, and The Babysitter. He also has a ton of television credits to his name like The Mysteries of Laura, Kevin From Work, and Lethal Weapon. McG is also currently at work on the Turner & Hooch series and is attached to direct the series True Lies based on the 1994 James Cameron/Arnold Schwarzenegger hit film of the same name.
The nostalgia and fun of Charlie’s Angels brought home nearly $265 million at the box office on a $95 million budget, a number that allowed McG to go back one more time with Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu for the sequel, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. Unfortunately, with a bigger budget ($125 million), the film didn’t fare as well, bringing in only $259 million at the box office.
Cameron Diaz was on a roll when Charlie came calling. Her career started off red hot with her debut film The Mask and from there she simply took off. She was in She’s the One, Feeling Minnesota, Head Above Water, and My Best Friend’s Wedding before her career jumped even higher with the rom-com There’s Something About Mary.
Cameron Diaz moved from rom coms to dramatic roles and back again with ease. She provided the voice for Princess Fiona in the Shrek franchise, then proceeded to make some very raunchy, if not funny, films like Bad Teacher and Sex Tape. In 2014, we would see her final feature film performance in Annie.
After Annie, Diaz claimed she was merely taking a break from filming, citing how tired she was of traveling to make movies. Then in 2018, Cameron Diaz confirmed suspicions by announcing she officially retired from acting. It’s been seven years since Diaz graced the big screen and it doesn’t look like she plans on changing her mind anytime soon.
During an interview on Gwyneth Paltrow’s podcast In Goop Health, Cameron Diaz told Paltrow, “I stopped and really looked at my life,” she said. “When you’re making a movie, they own you. You’re there for 12 hours a day for months on end, you have no time for anything else. I really needed to know that I could take care of myself, that I knew how to be an adult.”
Today, Cameron Diaz is enjoying her life, married to Good Charlotte rocker Benji Madden and raising their baby girl Raddix. She has no intention of jumping back in front of the camera, content where she is in her life. Thankfully, though, we still have her many fun films to fall back to, including Charlie’s Angels, which can now be seen on Netflix.