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"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 their demise.

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? 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 first “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 forgettable.

Rating:  Rental


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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 "Office Space"). 

"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, 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 half stars." 

"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 Vice"-rated movies.)

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All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09