CHARLIE'S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE (2003) / **
Directed by McG. Screenplay by John August, Cormac Wibberley and Marianne Wibberley, from a story by August, based on the television series created by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts. Starring Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu. Running time: 105 minutes. Rated PG for mature theme by the MFCB. Reviewed on July 7th, 2003.
By SHANNON PATRICK SULLIVAN
Synopsis: A pair of rings are stolen from government officials, and the Angels -- Dylan (Barrymore), Alex (Liu) and Natalie (Diaz), together with their new liaison Bosley (Bernie Mac) -- are hired to retrieve them and uncover the culprit. It turns out that the rings hold the key to identifying everybody who has ever been enrolled in the federal witness protection program, leading to revelations about the secret past of one of the Angels.
Review: In my review of the first "Charlie's Angels" flick, I complained it had a split personality: "a bog-standard action movie crossed uncomfortably with an entertaining cheesy comedy". The sequel, then, is a case of one step forward, one step back. There is less of an effort to make the storyline even remotely serious this time around; the plot mostly serves as a vehicle to get the Angels from one silly situation to another with at least three costume changes en route. And that's fine -- not many people go to see "Charlie's Angels" expecting a highbrow investigatorial thriller. Unfortunately, though, neither is "Full Throttle" a funnier movie than its predecessor. It's still campy, yes, but this is camp of a mindless order, generally feeling warmed over and lashed together. Consider Diaz's innuendo-laden description of surfing -- it's been done so often (and is delivered so mundanely) that it doesn't even merit a "nudge nudge wink wink", despite the (largely wasted) presence of John Cleese. Matters are not helped by the replacement of Bill Murray's Bosley with his "brother", played by Bernie Mac, who feels dropped in from another movie altogether. If "Full Throttle" does one thing right, though, it's the inspired casting of Demi Moore as a rogue Angel. Her scenes are amongst the most entertaining, and it's a shame there aren't more of them.
Copyright © 2003 Shannon Patrick Sullivan. Archived at The Popcorn Gallery, http://www.physics.mun.ca/~sps/movies.html
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