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Angels!

Camp doesn't get shabbier than Rico Martinez's vid-shot "Angels!," sending up both "Charlie's Angels" and "Austin Powers" but unable to keep up the comic energy. Attitude of filmmaking sends message that as long as we're having fun, shoddy staging and amateur-hour acting don't really matter. Formula, though, has rapidly diminishing returns; gimmick of watching dolled-up '70s-era detectives in drag trying to contend with bad guys and millennial pop culture grows awfully thin when it's clear that pic lacks visual imagination and polish to follow through on its own high concept. Prospects are generally restricted to gay fests looking to fill a latenight slot, as was the case with Outfest.

With:
With: Ruben Zambrano, John Stapleton, Raja, Monty Freeman, Christian Campbell, Yvette Saunders.

Camp doesn’t get shabbier than Rico Martinez’s vid-shot “Angels!,” sending up both “Charlie’s Angels” and “Austin Powers” but unable to keep up the comic energy. Attitude of filmmaking sends message that as long as we’re having fun, shoddy staging and amateur-hour acting don’t really matter. Formula, though, has rapidly diminishing returns; gimmick of watching dolled-up ’70s-era detectives in drag trying to contend with bad guys and millennial pop culture grows awfully thin when it’s clear that pic lacks visual imagination and polish to follow through on its own high concept. Prospects are generally restricted to gay fests looking to fill a latenight slot, as was the case with Outfest.

Defrosted from ersatz cryogenic state a la Mike Myers’ swinging spy, the “Angels” — Coty Dominguez (Ruben Zambrano), Maxine Von Rippington (co-writer John Stapleton) and Tawngy Davis (Raja) — find themselves adjusting from disco times to the Bill Gates era, while facing off with nefarious Joe Bogsley (Christian Campbell), who’s turning his inherited detective agency to no good. Laughs come from one-liners at expense of clueless Angels (Maxine finding a mysterious file: “That’s queer”), but they don’t come nearly often enough.

Angels!

Production: A Diet Angels production. Produced by T.J. Di Reda, Jessica Caggiano. Executive producers, Rico Martinez, Ruben Zambrano, Caggiano, John Stapleton. Directed by Rico Martinez. Screenplay, John Stapleton, Martinez, based on a story by Martinez.

Crew: Camera (video color), Richard Avalon; editors, Jett Sally, Jim Makiej; music, Nazario Alonzo, Craig Sherrad; production designer, Patricia Elias; art director, Erinn McCormack ; costume designer, Charlie Altuna. Reviewed at L.A. Outfest Film Festival, West Hollywood, July 8, 2000. Running time: 86 MIN.

With: With: Ruben Zambrano, John Stapleton, Raja, Monty Freeman, Christian Campbell, Yvette Saunders.

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