I watched “Charlie’s Angels” because I was in the mood to watch something loud and dumb-but-not-stupid, and it was *exactly* what I looking for. First off, the mega-charming leading ladies are a huge part of what the makes the movie work so well from the very beginning: You can practically feel Drew Barrymore’s excitement and passion for the project, Lucy Liu steals scenes left and right, and Cameron Diaz makes it all look effortless as Natalie. Additionally, there’s one hell of a supporting cast, like Sam Rockwell, whose performance as Eric Knox is straight from the Edward Norton school of acting (and that’s a good thing), a never-more-likable Matt LeBlanc and the always-interesting Crispin Glover; I will say, however, that Bill Murray looks lost and bored as Bosley, wandering through the proceedings like he just learned his lines and making his frequent interruptions a bit of a grating distraction. But ultimately, director McG’s visual approach is the real star here: This is an adaptation of a silly ’70s show that existed primarily as an excuse to have three attractive women jump up and down in bikinis a lot, and McG has a lot of fun subverting the show’s dated conventions with a nudge and a wink, like, “can you believe we used to watch this?” but without ever being mean-spirited about it. His camerawork is downright frenetic at times, rarely settling on anything for very long before wandering again like an untamed force of nature, and it gives the movie a Saturday-morning-cartoon atmosphere that asks you to suspend your disbelief so that it can tickle your funny bone for 100 minutes before sending you back to the real world, and whether you enjoy the ride depends on your willingness to go along with it.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)