By Owen Gleiberman
Updated March 23, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST

The elite squad of girly-girl crime fighters who flounce and ditz their way through D.E.B.S. wearing Catholic-school jailbait outfits made me wonder: Did the director, Angela Robinson, realize that it’s a fool’s game to try and parody the Charlie’s Angels movies, since they’re cheeky parodies to begin with, or did she hoodwink herself into thinking that she was doing something original? It’s supposed to be funny that the quartet of action heroines are just banal head-tossing sorority sisters, but the ”joke” is on the audience, since the four actresses come off as the blahest of blah amateurs.

So what’s there to laugh at? Why, the daring and outrageous lesbian angle! Amy (Sara Foster), the unofficial leader of the D.E.B.S., has a secret crush on Lucy Diamond (Jordana Brewster), a supervillainess who is bent on getting a date far more than she is on world domination. She seduces Amy into a secret love affair, which is offered as a naughty subversion of the usual hetero blockbuster heroics. Except that the movie seems five years behind the zeitgeist. This girl-on-girl romance barely raises a chuckle, a hormone, or an audience eyebrow. Cardboard-thin and terribly shot, D.E.B.S. is low-budget even by indie standards, and that’s a major disadvantage when you’re taking off on a genre that would scarcely exist apart from its turbo cheesecake style. The movie has no wit, no charm, no cleverness, no traction. Simply put, it is no fun.