‘Charlie’s Angles’ (2000)
‘Charlie’s Angles’ (2000) is directed by Mc G it is an action packed comedy film, based on the popular 1970s TV series about three attractive female crime fighters who work for a mysterious man named Charlie. The story is about a software maker Eric Knox (Sam Rockwell) who has been kidnapped, and the main suspect is his business rival Roger Corwin (Tim Curry). Knox’s partner Vivian Wood (Kelly Lynch) comes to the Angels for help. The active trio (and Bosley) investigate and break into Corwin’s operations, while trying to fend off the deadly intentions of Knox’s henchman The Thin Man (Crispin Glover).
Then Bosley himself is kidnapped, and the Angels to figure out what’s going on to save both Bosley and their unseen boss, Charlie. In my essay I’ll be analysing the opening sequence of ‘Charlie’s Angles’ to show how it has effective in establish the important elements of the film. It opens with the Columbia Woman, and then the camera goes past her into the clouds into a brightly lit plane with primary colours. This makes us thinks that it’s going to be a comedy, because bright colour is normally associated with that gener.
As the camera moves up the plane you see a camp steward joking about a passenger’s ass. Further along the plane you can see a couple going into the toilet to join the ‘Mile High Club’. This further anchor that it is going to be a light hearted comedy. However throughout all this, menacing music is playing in the background which indicates that it is going to be more then just a comedy film. This is further shown by the fact that so far the scene has been just with one shot to build tension.
The camera then follows a well built African guy (LL Cool J) back up the aisle. He sits beside a small ugly white guy, and strangely enough they started talking in spy code “I hear birds can’t fly this high” said the Ugly bloke “I heard only angels can” replies the African chap. Afterwards LL Cool J shows the Scruffy guy a handful of diamonds, and asked him where the bomb is? The Scruffy guy ripped open his shirt to reveal a bomb with only 58 second left on it, tied on to his body, “I’m the bomb” he said. This was shown as a close up to increase tension.
At that moment a film came on TJ Hocher The Movie and LL Cool J says “Not another film from an old TV show” At this point we definitely know that this is not a film that takes it’s self very seriously because that is exactly what ‘Charlie’s Angles’ is. Then all of a sudden LL Cool J jumped up from his seat, opens the emergency exit and pushes the ugly bloke out of it. Up to this point it is still one shot. However from now on it is shot in slow motion and real time this is often use inaction film to create excitement and speed.
The music also change form menacing to Rock & Roll this also creates excitement. A few seconds later Alex (Lucy Lui) jumps out of a helicopter with a parachute to catch the white bloke. At this point we get another close up of the bomb counting down to 0. Followed by the first of many explosions. For instance when they were in Knox’s Lair plus another one in the helicopter at the end. We get the first shot of Natalie (Cameron Diaz) in a bikini looking glamorous doing a hair flick driving a speedboat to catch Alex and the ugly bloke.
Sure enough Alex lands into the speedboat a few minutes later also looking beautiful. She too did a hair flick in slow motion. After that the African guy drops into the boat pulls off the mask, and turns out to be Dylan (Drew Barrymore). She too looks stunning and does a hair flick. Through out the film they use their sexy looks to fool men to get what they want for example When they were belly dancing to get a finger print off of a bottle After that you get a low angle close up of the ugly bloke looking ugly and scared in opposition to the girls.
At this point white bloke had gone crazy not understanding what had just happen so he started screaming and shouting non stop. The girls all have there arms round each other as if to say together they can achieve anything together. Here we see the first of the two triptyches it is of them when they are teenagers. Natalie is learning to drive. She is the driver throughout the film For example when she has a chicken run with the thin man.
The car was on two wheels and she looks as if she is having a fun time driving. A whacky pop song (Wake Me Up Before You Go Go) anchors her fun personality. Alex, we see her in a horse jumping show, surrounded by rich people. This show that she comes from a posh background this is anchors by the song ‘Money’. Dylan is the rebellious one out of the three. We see her smoking in the school toilet swearing at the camera. This is anchors be a rock & roll song. The second triptych is of them as young ladies.
Nat is a five day champion in “Jeopardy” (an American TV show) This shows that she has a great sense of general knowledge, which was proven later when she can identify a rare bird that only lives in Carmel by the sound of its chirping. This enables them to find Bosley after he has been kidnapped. Alex had grown up to be an astronaut, which is very rare for a woman. She is the one that does all the technology work though out the movie. This is confirmed when she manages to fix a fast food ordering box with only a bit of chewing gum and when she breaks into a computer mainframe.
We see Dylan getting shouted at by her coach in police training camp and she punches her coach and knocks him out, this shows that she is still rebellious towards authority. This also tell us that she is a very strong fighter and it was showed later on in the film when she takes on five guys with her hands tied together and beat them up. Through out the two triptychs we get a voice over by Charlie telling us even though they were all brought up in different backgrounds and have their own different personalities, they have three things in common they are brave, beautiful & they work for him.
This anchors the images. Then we get a series of seven short clips of the Angels working together. Showing their different personalities & fighting style. Last of all we see the three of them running jumps high into the air together with flames behind them & swish lines coming off them to show that even though it is going to be a light hearted humour film, but it is also going to be full of action. Then you see the name of the film in 70s style referring back to the old series.