"Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle"
Directed by McG.
Written by Cormac Wibberley, Marianne Wibberley and John August.
Starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu.
Release Year: 2003
Review Date: 6/30/03
What have I seen, something like 300 films
in theaters the past four years? It is tough to make me want to get
up and leave the theater before the movie is over, since I have
never done that. But, let’s talk about the opening sequence for
“Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.”
So, the Angels (Cameron Diaz, Drew
Barrymore, Lucy Liu--all back from the first film) are saving a
character from rogue terrorists in Mongolia. To get away, they
first make a ridiculous jump out of a 10,000-story window and land,
unharmed, near a bridge below. After dusting themselves off, they
run to a truck and start driving away. At the other end of the
bridge, a tank rolls up and fires a shell. At the other end of the
bridge, behind the Angels’ truck, a guy fires a bazooka.
Predictably, the two shots miss the truck, but the truck falls off
the bridge and everyone inside falls out of the truck, plummeting to
Luckily (for director McG, possibly the most
talentless director earning a paycheck for big-budget films), there
was some sort of super-chopper in the back of the truck, and so the
Angels all somehow fall out of the truck and onto the wings of the
chopper and one of the Angels pilots everyone away to safety. Sure,
it was ridiculous, over-the-top, done completely in front of the
blue screen and shot while the Angels are all giggling away as they
avert death for another day...and, it summed up nearly the entire
film experience for this mostly piece-of-shit sequel.
At least, for me. I’m sure adolescent girls
everywhere can take SOMETHING out of this pile of dung, but not me.
Once again, McG gives us action scenes so ridiculous that by the
time a motocross rider does a backflip while firing two pistols and
flipping back onto his motorcycle, I was laughing out loud to the
annoyance of the teenage girls sitting behind me. Seriously, have
physics in action films been completely removed? Jeez...at least in
“The Matrix”, it can be explained away by the fact that it is a
computer simulation that has bendable rules. The Angels in this
film have the ability to hover, fly, jump fences without even
climbing them, and dodge bullets ala Remo Williams. The wire
fighting in this film is offensive, much like it was in the
“Angels” film, and as an action fan, this stuff made me angry.
Worse, the filmmakers once again acknowledge
that it is odd for crime fighters to not carry weapons (per Drew
Barrymore’s insistence that the characters not carry firearms) by
making the villain a gun-toting former Angel (Demi Moore) and...the
REAL kicker...the Angels now wear Kevlar vests. What does this
mean? This means that although the Angels believe that their
missions might involve their being shot at, they don’t believe that
carrying a gun to defend themselves is a good idea. Riiiiight. The
storyline for the film blows--I kind of expected this, but the idea
that the entire Witness Protection Program is stored electronically
on two rings? An Irish gang serving as the Angels’ most difficult
assignment? Man. Even Bernie Mac--replacing Bill Murray because of
reported problems Murray had working with Barrymore, who is a
producer on the films--isn’t that funny in this movie, and that’s
the whole reason he was brought on.
To McG’s credit (and this is apropos, given
that he IS a former award-winning music video director), the
soundtrack for “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” is awesome. A
great mix of songs, plus he throws in two more Prodigy songs,
bringing the total of Prodigy cuts in the two “Angels” films up to
three. Plus, given the film’s status and the fact that it was shot
on studio lots in LA, there are so many guest stars that I can
already hear my brother yelling “Sell out!!” as he watches this film
when it comes out on video--in particular, Eve, Pink and Jeremy
McGrath REALLY sold out by showing up in this film. I can’t fault
McGrath too much, since he is a rider and he probably was hangin’
out with somebody else that day who said “Hey man, this might be
your only shot to be in a movie!” But, Eve? She doesn’t even have
any lines! At least it was cool to see Bruce Willis, Eric Bogosian,
the Olsen Twins, and others show up for no reason.
And, I’ll admit that Diaz in a mullet is
some pretty funny stuff. Overall, though, this flick is
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard