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Film / Charlie's Angels (2000)

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"Once upon a time, there were three very different little girls who grew up to be three very different women. But they have three things in common: They're brilliant, they're beautiful, and they work for me. My name is Charlie."

Once upon a time there was a very successful TV series about three female private detectives. They worked for a mysterious man called Charlie who was never seen, and who called them his "Angels". Almost 20 years after the last episode aired, the franchise was revived as a pair of theatrical films, set in the early 2000's, with a new set of Angels.

It is worth noting that the movie series is not a Continuity Reboot of the series, but a continuation. These movies star Cameron Diaz (Natalie), Lucy Liu (Alex) and Drew Barrymore (Dylan) as the Angels, with John Forsythe returning as the voice of Charlie.

A continuation of the story premiered on November 15, 2019, starring Naomi Scott, Kristen Stewart, and Ella Balinska as the titular trio, with Elizabeth Banks directing, producing and playing Bosley. Tropes for that film can go there.


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    Tropes present in Charlie's Angels (2000) 
  • Absolute Cleavage: Some of Natalie's outfits. Dylan's too, especially in the first movie race car scenes.
  • Action Girl: Well, obviously.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • The house in which the two kids are playing a videogame when a naked Dylan comes knocking is the same house from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
    • Dylan can also be seen wearing a Harry Potter themed disguise at the start of the first film. Drew Barrymore is a massive fan of the series and nearly had a cameo in the first Potter film.
    • Bill Murray mentions talking to a squirrel, a reference to his talking to a gopher in Caddyshack.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: While there’s still some satisfaction in his death, all Eric Knox wanted was to get revenge on his father’s killer and just so happened to believe it was Charlie. It turns out Knox had his facts wrong: his father was murdered by enemy soldiers when it came out that he was a double agent.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: It is somewhat of a running gag throughout the movies that Dylan always falls for the bad guy. Example: Eric Knox (who she sleeps with, although this is before she knows that he's the Big Bad) and the Thin Man (who was originally going to kiss Alex, according to the filmmakers, but they changed it to Dylan, in keeping with her lust for bad boys). Also, it was revealed that The Dragon of the second film's, Big Bad was her ex-boyfriend. The last case is arguably a subversion since she turned him in when she saw him murder someone.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Angels
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: The Thin Man.
  • Big Bad: Eric Knox.
  • Big "NO!": Knox gives two, one when he watches his missile being redirected back at his helicopter and one once he realizes the flight controls no longer work.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Although they like to make things different with wigs.
  • Book-Ends: 'Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel' plays at the start and end.
  • Brig Ball Bouncing: Bosley does this while being held prisoner by Knox. Where he got the baseball and glove is never explained. When he fails to catch one throw the ball hits him in the face and activates his molar mic, allowing him to contact the Angels and guide them to him.
  • Bullet Time: It came out the year after The Matrix, and the director used to do music videos, so there's a lot of it.
  • The Cameo: LL Cool J as Mr. Jones.
  • Car Skiing: The movie shows a flashback in which Natalie pulls one off during her driving exam. Establishing Character Moment for her Badass Driver and Improbable Piloting Skills.
  • Cassandra Truth: When a number of Knox's goons attempt to take out Dylan, who is tied to a chair, Dylan describes to them, step-by-step, how she's going to break free, knock each and every one of them out, and finish by moonwalking out of the room - all With My Hands Tied because she is failing to burn the ropes. Guess what follows?
  • Casting Gag: Jason (played by Matt Le Blanc) is an actor and a bit of a ditz, like Joey in Friends.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Natalie jokes that Vivian Wood was responsible for Knox's kidnapping and was playing the Wounded Gazelle Gambit. Guess what happens...
  • Children Are Innocent: Dylan is shown rolling down a hill naked behind a house. Two young boys see her. How do they respond? They give her clothes, including a "Stone Cold" Steve Austin T-shirt, a motorized bicycle for transportation.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The three angels - Alex is often in black, Dylan in red and Natalie in White. Goes with them being a Blonde, Brunette, Redhead trio.
  • Combat Stilettos: Mandatory equipment for any Action Girl or Dark Action Girl in these flicks.
  • Dance Party Ending
  • Dark Action Girl: Vivian Wood.
  • The Ditz: Natalie has her moments.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: The Angels never use firearms. This was on Drew Barrymore's insistence because she was uncomfortable around firearms.
  • Don't Sneak Up On Me Like That: This happens a lot to Jason.
  • Double Entendre:
    • Natalie produces many of these (although she seems to use them unintentionally).
    • This exchange between Alex and Corwin (who thinks she's a masseuse):
      Corwin: You're very good... with your hands. I could use someone like you on my staff.
      Alex: Thanks for the offer, but my hands aren't going anywhere near your staff.
  • The Dragon: The Thin Man is this for Eric Knox.
  • Endangered Soufflé: Alex tries to maintain a souffle while bad guys riddle her trailer with bullets. She fails.
  • Fetish: The Thin Man has a rather enthusiastic (and creepy) one for hair.
  • Game Show Appearance: Alex is a five-day Jeopardy! champion.
  • GPS Evidence: Natalie is able to tell where the bad guys are by a bird's chirp in the background of a recording.
  • Hair Flip: Used very often and very intentionally, to the point of parody.
  • Hate Sink: Vivian Wood is Eric Knox's girlfriend and helps assist him in his plans to kill Charles "Charlie" Townsend to avenge his father. Though loyal to him, she comes off as way more smug and unlikable, displaying a taunting demeanor as she goes along. Angel Dylan Sanders ends up captured because of Vivian and she destroys Angel Natalie Cook's phone during a fight too for no real good reason.
  • Hilarious Outtakes: The credits to the film.
  • Hollywood Skydiving: The opening action scene of the film.
  • I'll Take Two Beers Too: Dylan orders three burgers, three fries, three shakes, and three apple pies. She jokingly turns to the others and asks them what'll they have.
  • Jiggle Show: The original series was the Trope Maker, and the movies followed in its footsteps.
  • Latex Perfection:
    Would-Be Bomber: You crazy bastard!
    LL Cool J (With Dylan's voice coming out of his mouth): I think you mean 'crazy bitch'. (Takes off mask to reveal Dylan)
  • Lean and Mean: The Thin Man, hence the name.
  • Lethal Chef: Alex. Her blueberry muffins are so rock hard that one of them ends up embedded in a door.
  • Male Gaze: The movies never shy away from booty focus. So much that the cast actually spoofed it in this video.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: Averted. Pete and Jason still stay with Natalie and Alex respectively in spite of them having to constantly disappear on missions. By the time of the second film, both Pete and Jason are fully aware of their girlfriends' real jobs.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Subverted. Dylan wears one after sex with Knox but loses it in the ensuing fight.
  • Mysterious Employer: Charlie. Pretty much the premise.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: This team of Angels never uses guns. They rely on Waif-Fu against a number of enemies with guns, and rarely suffer more than a nick.
  • Nipple and Dimed: Averted. Dylan's bare breast is fully visible (if out of focus) for a second when she loses her Modesty Bedsheet.
  • No Name Given: The Thin Man is only ever referred to as this (either that or "Creepy Thin Man") for the first movie - the second movie, however, reveals that his real name is Anthony (his surname is not given, however).
  • Precision F-Strike: When Natalie finds out that Vivian Wood is trying to kill the Angels, she calls her "an all-around bitch''. While there is plenty of mild swearing throughout the movie, having this particular one come out of Natalie's mouth shows just how shocked and angry she is. (The director even admits to wanting to tone it down to "brat".)
  • Rare Guns: Handguns in both movies are Desert Eagles rather than not, including one that Bosley carves from a block of soap with his teeth in the first movie (never mind the Desert Eagle being more than twice as large as any piece of soap out there). Oh, and Madison has got two gold-plated ones.
  • Rule of Cool: Generally the tone of both films, along with Rule of Funny.
  • Rule of Funny: The only reason Bosley is able to make a gun out of soap.
  • Self-Deprecation: The opening scene has the in-flight movie "T.J. Hooker: The Movie". The reaction is "Another movie from an old TV show."
  • Shout-Out:
    • The scene where Bosley is kept prisoner in the tower contains references to The Great Escape and Birdman of Alcatraz. The "soap gun" is also a reference to John Dillinger's famous escape.
    • When Dylan falls into the garden of the house where two kids are playing games, it is actually the same house from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which starred a very young Drew Barrymore. Not only that, but an E.T. poster can also be found in this scene.
  • Soft Glass:
    • Despite presumably having been hurled through a glass transom by Natalie and Alex (so she can unblock the door from the other side) Dylan not only manages to break the glass with her body, but is completely uninjured.
    • When Knox shoots at Dylan and she's thrown back through the shattering glass window (the bullet only hit the window behind her), she egregiously has no scratch on her despite being completely nude at the time.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: The opening scene involves Dylan disguised as an African-American male via Latex Perfection, with the mask portrayed by LL Cool J.
  • The Voice: Charlie.
  • Toplessness from the Back: The Angels make their way to Eric Knox's hideout by sea and take off their wetsuits when approaching, the camera cutting away to their bare backs as they strip.
  • Tropical Epilogue: After killing Knox and saving Charlie, the Angels and Bosley are rewarded with a beach vacation.
  • Two-Keyed Lock: Redstar's main computer is behind a locked door that can only be opened by using two director's cards, fingerprints, and retinas. Then there's another door with two buttons.
  • Vanity License Plate: Corwin's reads CORWIN with the "win" part underlined.
  • With My Hands Tied: Dylan knocks out five bad guys (after describing in detail what she would do) while tied to a broken chair. Not that she wanted to, but her lighter failed to break her ropes while she was talking them up.
  • You Killed My Father: Eric Knox wants to kill Charlie, as he (mistakenly) believes him to have killed his father.

    Tropes present in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle 
  • Academic Athlete: flashbacks reveal Alex was both a champion gymnast and a chess player in her youth.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Alas, Poor Villain: The Thin Man because of his Heel–Face Turn.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Angels deduce that Randy is a villain because Dylan immediately starts lusting after him, and it is later revealed that, in her past, she was in a relationship with Seamus O'Grady.
  • Ascended Extra: Natalie's love interest Pete gets a bigger role here.
  • Ass Kicking Pose: The film is the Trope Namer. Madison herself says, "The Angels ass-kicking pose"
  • Badass Biker: Natalie, Thin Man, Max, Randy Emmers, and the Coal Bowl MC (P!nk's cameo character).
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Seamus catches the Thin Man's sword this way, who responds by kicking him off the rooftop.
  • Big Bad: Madison Lee.
  • Broken Pedestal: The Angels, especially Natalie, are huge fans of former Angel Madison Lee. Not so much after she's revealed to be the villain.
  • Bulletproof Vest: The Angels use them to stop rounds fired from Demi Moore's twin Desert Eagles, dusting themselves off and keeping it moving like nothing happened. In reality, the vests would provide very little if any protection against such high caliber rounds. One could easily still die, and at the very least would be incapacitated with severe internal injuries and broken bones.
  • Casting Gag: Carrie Fisher plays a nun, which she also did in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The Angels and Madison Lee display moments of this trope. For Madison, she is quick to go for her guns the first chance she gets, shooting the Angels in her first fight with them. However, in the first encounter, the Angels are savvy enough to wear kevlar under their clothes and in the second encounter they use a pair of whips to disarm Madison. In the climactic battle, Madison kicks a piece of the stage at Natalie and holds her at gunpoint. She pretty much has her dead to rights until the other two Angels come to Natalie's rescue.
  • The Cameo: Rapper Eve and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen make cameo appearances (presumably as themselves) in Dylan's imagination (in which she imagines a future with an ever-changing Angel line-up). Other celebrities, playing different characters, also pop up for cameo appearances, such as P!nk and Carey Hart to name a few.
  • Call-Back: Natalie's love of tickets and ability to spontaneously cause a room to dance return.
    • In the Uncut version, there's an extended fight scene at the Irish dock where Dylan tries to buy time during the fight against Seamus by spreading her legs and saying "wait! wait! wait!", the same way she did with Knox's mooks when she was tied to a chair and (originally) needed to buy time so she could escape her bonds. Unlike the mooks, who did pause to listen to her, Seamus just immediately punches her.
  • Continuity Nod: Kelly Garrett from the original series appears, still being played by Jaclyn Smith.
  • Dark Action Girl: Madison Lee
  • Dead Star Walking: Bruce Willis shows up just long enough to get shot in the head.
  • Disney Villain Death:
    • Two Dragons fall off a rooftop.
    • The Big Bad falls into a fire (which she started herself thanks to her falling through the floor and firing her guns up at the Angels while in the midst of a lot of escaping gas). If you listen closely, you can hear her scream even after she's hit the bottom.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: The Angels' habit of doing this is given a continuity nod when the Big Bad chuckles at their ass-kicking pose and remarks that back in her day, Angels used guns. Cue Dual Wielding golden Desert Eagles.
  • Dramatic Shattering: When Dylan encounters Seamus again for the first time in years, she drops the champagne bottle she's holding in shock and fear, causing it to shatter to pieces.
  • Embarrassing Last Name: It is revealed that Dylan Sanders used to be named Helen Zass (just say it out loud...), but had to change it after being placed in the Witness Protection Program.
  • Everyone Knows Morse: While hiding in the dark from Seamus's gun-toting mooks, the women silently communicate via tapping Morse into each other's palms before the lights come back on.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Madison Lee prior to the events of Full Throttle
  • Guns Akimbo: Taken up to downright ridiculous amounts with Madison dual-wielding Desert Eagles (.50 Action Express for sure) and the Mongolian with two machine guns (not assault rifles or SMGs but one PKM and one MG42). See also Law of Inverse Recoil.
  • Hate Sink: Seamus O'Grady is an Irish mobster who dated and was put away by Dylan who ended up in Witness Protection because of it. Released early from prison, he taunts and fights Dylan and threatens to kill her friends Natalie and Angel Alex Munday just to hurt her even more. During the climax, O'Grady kills the Thin Man by stabbing him in the back with his own blade.
  • Heel–Face Turn: The Thin Man turns out unexpectedly on the Angel's side this time around.
  • Hero's Evil Predecessor: Madison was a former Angel to Charlie. In the movie, she turns evil and tries to expose Charlie and kill the current Angels. And unlike this incarnation of the Angels, she uses guns.
  • Lucky Translation: In English, the orphanage's mother superior describes their relation with the Thin Man as "the odd haircut now and then", allowing the French dub to use the amazing pun "une coupe de cheveux plutôt décoiffante", that is, literally "a fairly hair-messing haircut" (décoiffant usually meaning "exciting").
  • Made of Explodium: Every bike that gets shot or falls over in the dirt bike race scene.
  • Mythology Gag: A few. Most notably, Jaclyn Smith appears as a past Angel.
  • Naked on Arrival: The Angels bursting out of an angelic statue in the buff with strategically placed lighting. The sequence then cuts to them having made a clothing change in the meantime.
  • Police Code for Everything: An illegal chinchilla ranch on the premises is an 11-350.
  • Redemption Equals Death: The Thin Man (although, given what he was able to survive in the first movie, there is a lot of speculation that he may actually still be alive).
  • Serendipitous Survival: When the Angels are trying to figure out Ray Carter's cryptic message on the way to stop Madison, Natalie has a "aha!" moment that, being Natalie, has her start dancing, which causes everyone to stop and try to figure out what she's doing until she explains that he was talking about star names on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (dancing was for Fred Astaire). Had she not caused them to stop, they would have been in or near their car when it exploded, instead of enough feet away to only get knocked backward uninjured.
  • Sequel Non-Entity: Bosley is conspicuously absent (save for a photo on his family's wall), having been replaced by his adoptive brother. Despite the fact that Bosley appeared to be beloved by the Angels in the first film, here they never seem to miss him for even a moment — nor is his absence (and current whereabouts) ever explained.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Natalie's boyfriend, Pete, attended his high school reunion. At Rydell High, the school featured in Grease.
    • Bruce Willis' character is named William Rose Bailey, a mix of Axl Rose's real names.
    • When the Angels visit the abbey, "The Lonely Goatherd" from The Sound of Music can be heard in the background.
    • Seamus's release from prison is an almost shot-for-shot of Max Cady's release in the remake of Cape Fear, along with the score from the film playing any time Seamus does something creepy.
  • The Speechless: It is revealed that The Thin Man has been mute since childhood (it is implied to be due to the trauma of losing his parents at a young age). He does make a valiant attempt to speak later on, but he doesn't manage to get the words out... and is stabbed before Dylan (and the audience) get to find out if he can.
  • "Take That!" Kiss: Madison Lee gives one to Natalie on the cheek complete with saliva strains as she holds her at gunpoint.
  • A Tale Told by an Idiot: Whenever Alex tries to tell her father what she, Natalie and Dylan really do, she makes it sound less like they're an elite team of secret agents and more like they're a trio of prostitutes. Not helped by her boyfriend Jason, who assumed her father knew about her spy work and explains some of her job's undercover antics without any context.
  • Tattooed Crook: Seamus, who has tattoos all over his arms, neck and back to symbolize his criminal nature.
  • Time for Plan B: Three times throughout the film.
    • When the Angels are caught rescuing the hostage US Marshal Ray Carter.
    • By the Big Bad after the Angels foil their original plan with the Witness Protection Halo rings.
    • By the Angels to Bosley when they have to stop the Big Bad's Plan B.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailers and marketing played up Madison Lee's status as the Big Bad despite it being presented in the film as a surprise twist.
  • Troperiffic: Right to the name "Full Throttle". (Probably completely intentional.)
  • Witness Protection: Madison's plan is to steal the list of people currently in the witness protection program and sell it to the highest bidder among several criminal groups. It turns out Dylan is one of the names on the list due to turning in evidence against Seamus after witnessing him murdering someone.

Alternative Title(s): Charlies Angels Full Throttle


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