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Attacking `Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle' is a bit like shooting secret agents in a barrel; there's just not a lot of sport in it because it's way too easy to do.
Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore return as the giggly, jiggly trio who, we're supposed to believe, are amazing, expert crime fighters. About the only way this material stands even a chance of succeeding is if the filmmakers treat it like some over-the-top, live action cartoon (or is it video game?) - which is pretty much what they've done. Unfortunately, it turns out to be a cartoon almost totally devoid of wit, creativity and charm. The plot mainly consists of finding ways to get the girls into campy costumes and situations. Thus we have the angels as nuns, the angels as welders, the angels as exotic dancers. The problem is that this cutesiness wears awfully thin after awhile, especially since that is pretty much all the screenplay manages to come up with in the way of entertainment.
The stunt sequences which consist mainly of tedious slow-motion shots of the girls flipping through the air, karate-chopping the bad guys and dodging bullets - are so excessive in nature that we begin to understand what a detrimental effect `The Matrix' (however inadvertently) has had on filmmaking in the past few years. When any physical action - no matter how contrary to the laws of physics and gravity - is possible, how are we supposed to care what happens to the people involved? If no one seems to be in any real danger, all possible suspense is eliminated and we are left admiring the work of the special effects team and very little else. The `Charlie's Angels' films are not alone in this regard, but they do serve as handy warning signs of the potentially debilitating effect of this trend on the future of action movies.
About halfway through the film, Jaclyn Smith, one of the angels from the original TV series, shows up to dispense some veteran advice to one of our intrepid little cherubs. Though long past her prime, Smith is so goddess-y beautiful in her brief moments on screen that, not only does she outclass all three of the leading players, but she makes us, heaven forbid, even feel a twinge of nostalgia however faint - for the original series. Frankly, I didn't think that was possible. Credit the makers of this fiasco for achieving at least that much with their film.
The Angels rescue Marshal Ray Carter from Mongolia but leave without what
they presume to be his wedding ring. Later they find out that the ring is
one of a coded pair that, once combined, unlocks the data for the location
of the entire witness protection programme. The other ring has also been
taken from it's holder and the holder murdered. The Angels are charged to
bring back the rings but along the way they encounter secrets from the past
including a violent old flame from Dylan's youth seeking revenge and an
ex-Angel striking out on her own.
It was with a heavy (but open) heart that I went to see this film. I had enjoyed the first film (for all it's flaws) but I didn't really want to see a film that just went over the same ground. Happily CA2 didn't just make the same mistakes as the first film did it actually went beyond them! One problem with the first film was that the plot had too many scenes that just seemed to happen without reason or consequence (the race cars scene for one). However here the majority of the scenes seem to exist outside the plot. It's like they knew that they wanted to repeat the essence of some scenes from the first film and, if they couldn't fit them into the plot, then they just dropped them in anyway. Scenes that were enjoyable in the first film were just not quite as funny the second time round.
The plot is so disjointed that it really does feel very episodic and I struggled sometimes to see the narrative flow mainly because for large sections of the film there wasn't one. Characters are dropped in for little reason, scenes occur that are wedged into the plot simply because someone had the idea in isolation and got it added to the film etc. However I won't waste time debating this here as I think many agree that this film was never meant to provide substance. Which leaves us with style. McG is aptly named as he is responsible for a mass produced product that seems to lack invention or spark of it's own. It was possible to look at the first film as a tongue in cheek satire of blockbusters but to do the same thing all over again made me realise that he wasn't satirising the cult of excess he is actually part of it and worse, he hasn't got ideas of his own.
Hence we have scenes that are more like music videos. The soundtrack pretty much covers the whole film, lest we should have a quiet moment to think! Also the action scenes are sub-par Matrix rips once he may have gotten away with it but the joke has worn thin. The action is just silly and makes it very hard to get excited or involved. The opening sequence is just laughable and sets the tone it's a shame as some of the fights are well choreographed and could have been good if they hadn't been pushed to being OTT. The constant use of slow motion and linger shots of the girls' asses or blowing hair also gets quite tiresome in the end. The film has quite a few good references to other movies (eg Cape Fear & Sound Of Music) however these only work if they exist as scenes themselves and not just as references. To show you what I mean, `The Simpsons' spoofed Cape Fear, but the episode stood in it's own right. In CA2 some references seem only to exist as references and not part of the film. The constant use of in-jokes and styles from other films stopped feeling like clever fleeting references and started to feel like McG just plundering for things to fill his film I mean, doesn't even the concept of a quest for a ring sound familiar to anyone, never mind the Matrix effects?!
The cast is amazing and it is to McG's further shame that he makes poor use of the majority of them. The lead trio are good but (as the outakes show) seemed to have had more fun making it than I had watching it. Liu comes out the best for my money as she is the most convincing fighter and is the sexiest! Moore is alright in the support but she is poorly used she really does have a very small role, most of which is to show off her new body. Mac is a major let down from the trailer he had looked funny but the truth is that he gives a poor minstrel performance at best. He has a few funny lines but he is not as funny as I've seen him his failure makes the loss of Bill Murray feel 100 times greater. Theroux is physically impressive but has a terrible accent that wonders from Northern Irish to Southern Irish to some sort of flat Scots at times. The support cast is deep and mostly wasted - Bruce Willis has about 3 words and 1 minute of screen time, Fisher, Patrick, Eve, LeBlanc, Wilson, The Olsen's, Smith, Forster and Pink (to name a handful) all have very little to actually do and it just turns their scenes into a game of `oh look it's '. The biggest waste is Cleese who is given nothing to do but do bug eyes over cheap innuendo and whisper `ferret'.
Overall I'm aware that to make these points is a waste of my time as many fans of this film will acknowledge them and say `so what?'. Hell I half enjoyed the film as a piece of fluff for a Sunday afternoon with mindless action and sexy ladies but it's hard for that to totally suffice and, try as I might, I couldn't help but feel like I wanted something more from it.
I liked the first Charlie's Angels film. OK so it was never going to make
cinematic history, but it was fun in a kitsch kind of a way.
Not so the second. The storyline is disjointed, and the action sequences are so far overdone it's laughable. Suspension of disbelief is one thing, but when the Angels are flying around like Matrix Agents even dodging bullets, it just gets silly. There are numerous references to other films, but I get the impression that they're included as padding rather than genuine homages.
Demi Moore looks great, but is wasted in this compost heap of a film. If ever there was an argument for not buying a DVD before you've watched it, this is it.
What do you say about a comedy that isn't at all funny a spoof thats to heavy handed and loud that its just irritating Boy I wish I could get a job where with out any talent I could waste millions of dollars make a incoherent piece of tripe (that did not do that well ) and be told sure you can make the last installment of this overdone franchise.Is any body else really sick of these MTV directors with there million of blazing editing cuts to create these false epics.How many good movies from struggling directors will never be seen because Hollywood is still looking for that big score picture. doesn't matter if good or not just loud and flashy. OH those lovable bean counters.
I liked "Charlie's Angels." It never took itself too seriously, and Bill
Murray provided some comic relief, making the film more than just an hour
and a half bikini advert. Something funny (or unfunny) happens in "Charlie's
Angels: Full Throttle": It's terrible.
I mean, this movie isn't bad, it's just awful. The acting is even worse than the first, there's no Bill Murray, and what were all the stars making cameos in this film thinking? Bruce Willis, Owen Wilson, and others make brief appearences, but what about Demi Moore, Crispin Glover ("Back to the Future"), Robert Patrick (better remembered as the T-1000 in "T2"), John Cleese (or was that a cameo?), Luke Wilson, Bernie Mac (who now has his own very popular TV show--he didn't need this to hinder his career), Matt LeBlanc ("Friends"), and so on and so forth, who all took main roles? Okay, I understand LeBlanc taking part in the film, his career is going nowhere other than "Friends," but seriously, Luke Wilson?! Between this and "Legally Blonde 2," the man may never make a lead role again (like in "Old School," a much funnier and more fun film than this). And John Cleese! What's with him and small roles lately? "Harry Potter," "James Bond," all of his roles are supporting: Whatever happened to his acting career? And that's not to mention what in the %&#% Cameron Diaz is doing in this movie. Drew Barrymore...maybe. Lucy Liu...definately. Cameron Diaz...NO WAY! I really like Cameron Diaz, and she can act (see "There's Something About Mary"), but what in the name of H.G. Wells is she doing in this? And why does she act so bad in it? I understand playing homage to the show with bad acting and all like the first film, but this pushes the limit.
The direction style is worse, thanks to "McG," and Drew Barrymore manages to steal the show as the all-time worst actress in recent years. I know it's not all her--it's the script. Anyone who has to say the stuff these girls say in this film should know they're in trouble, and should mutter the lines with utter chaos, but it's unbearable how corny the things they say are. And just check out their acting in a dirt bike scene, when Liu and Barrymore are "worried" and "scared" that Diaz's character might be in trouble. Youch! Bad acting to a new extreme. This film has the mediocrity of a horrible B-movie from the seventies, with a huge budget splattered on top.
Originally titled "Charlie's Angels: Halo" (the name changed due to copyright on the video game "Halo"), "Full Throttle's" plot is one of the worst I've seen in a long time. It's horribly contrived. Where should I begin? In the beginning of the film, the three Angels, Natalie (Diaz), Alex (Liu) and Dylan (Barrymore) rescue a hostage (Patrick) from a bunch of Hungarians. Stupidity ensues when the Angels fall off a bridge, dodging a missile, and manage to grab onto a helicopter or something before the truck they were in blows up. When watching this scene, the first things that enters your brain is this: How in the world did this pass Columbia TriStar's eyes? I mean, that scene is the kind of stuff I used to think would be neat when I was about ten, only back then they didn't make feature films out of idiotic ideas. Anyway, on with the plot.
After rescuing Patrick, they find out he was carrying with him a ring on his finger that the Hungarians stole. This ring, when joined with another, reveals the entire database of those on the witness protection program and their real names. Good Lord, I didn't know that the Government kept the names of their protected witnesses on a super-duper ring gadget so easily stealable. I mean, didn't this pass the actors and actresses' minds--maybe the film might be a bit sore on the plot?
I suppose that's not why people go to see this movie. They go to see the girls in bikinis. That's not a bad idea, the first one was like that, but if you're going to have a plot at least make it non-laughable. Even the first film's plot was better than THIS!
One thing leads to another, pretty soon they find out Dylan (who entered the witness protection program years ago) is being targeted for assassination by the Creepy Thin Man (Crispin Glover). One thing I found funny is that Crispin Glover refused to return for "Back to the Future Part II," demanding what writer Bob Gale said was "unreasonable" perks, yet he returned for "Charlie's Angels 2" in a flash. Interesting, Crispin, I see you've learned from your mistakes--sadly, you've used your wisdom to return for a terrible film.
"Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" isn't just miserable, it isn't just awful, it is just so mediocre it hurts. It's like on gargantuan mess, filled to the rim with bad acting, horrible "Matrix" rip-off fight scenes, and a God-awful script, all of which makes "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" one of the biggest cinematic disasters in recent years. I could spend hours wondering why the beautiful and talented Cameron Diaz chose to appear in this film, but in all honesty, it hurts my brain just thinking about it. What hurts my brain even more is the fact that this film has grossed close to 100 mil already, meaning more sequels. I weep for those that paid to see this movie expecting a treat.
I'll say once more to the fans of the films that I enjoyed the original as a guilty pleasure, but this is too much for me. Please, no more sequels.
1.5/5 stars -
We caught a double at the matinee today and perhaps I found CA:FT so much
fun due to the comparison of the pretty lousy League of Extraordinary
Gentlemen we had just seen. But, fun it was!
I went in hoping for more of the satirical flair that made the first one enjoyable. CA:FT delivered. This is the way movies about campy TV shows *should* be made. An over-the-top parody that keeps you gasping and laughing the entire time.
If you want "realistic" action, this movie is NOT it. This is a live-action cartoon, beautifully shot in a kinetic MTV style. Cameos are numerous ("Is that Bruce Willis?" "Hey, Pink!") and watch for plenty of little homages to various campy TV series of the same genre.
Most of all, sit back and enjoy! The three angels are as goofy as ever with their satire-sincerity and "fierce" poses. They each have a distinct personality trait which helps all the little subplots keep moving along.
The supporting cast was fine too. Bernie Mac's Bosley was an improvement over the first. Lots of laughs! Demi's Madison character was okay, but I kept getting the impression she was trying too hard. This is a parody and Madison should have been a hammed-up villainess, but Moore remained too seriously focused. This caused the character to seem out of step with the rest of the movie. John Cleese was fine too. His part was small and generally consisted of the tired joke of miscommunication about his daughter's (Liu) occupation.
If you enjoyed the first Charlies Angels, see this! If you like goofy, all-out action fun, see this! If you want drama, skip this.
7 out of 10.
I watched this film at the recommendation of my 13 year-old daughter. I like the original film version of a few years ago but Full Throttle lacks the wit and charm of its predecessor. It therefore had to rely on action and special effects which I found boring (and I like action films). The dialogue was weak and, in particular, the special effects were disappointing for this day and age. There was too much obvious work in front of the blue screen and the situations were so preposterous that I eventually gave up on the film after enduring too much of a particularly ridiculous chase. I've only ever walked out on two other films in over 40 years. There is much better entertainment available.
There are good movies, bad movies, and very bad movies. And then there's
Charlie's Angels 2. After 5 minutes of watching this movie I realized what
had gotten myself into. Unfortunately, I am one of those people who have
watch a movie they've started to the end, no matter how much it sucks. And
this movie is the king amongst vacuum cleaners.
It's full of incredibly unconvincing stunts, bad jokes and mediocre acting. Add a banal plot, and you've got yourself by far the worst movie of 2003. Recommended for masochists only.
$120,000,000 down the drain.
It's an action movie that's not exciting, a parody that's not funny, and an adventure that's not adventurous. It is a mystery - a mystery that anyone would like it. It even lack sex appeal.
Maybe McG needs to work on TV with a much smaller budget and less famous actors. He clearly can't get anything from the "angels" who seem more interested in laughing than acting. This movie cements their reputations (and Demi Moore's also) as truly bad actors. I don't feel bad for any of them.
I don't know about Bernie Mac. Is he that bad, or does he just get horrible roles? The best actors in the first film were Bill Murray and Tom Green. In the second? John Cleese and Matt LeBlanc. This is not what you want.
There are several random cameos throughout, not unlike the random plot itself. Much of the movie is a string of T&A, music, pyrotechnics and CG action. It truly is one extremely long music video - like Thriller would look like if created by two monkeys and an ATM machine.
I thought the $92 million "original" was bad, but the sequel managed to be about $28 million worse. Maybe someday, someone will make a film about how McG got $200 million to make two movies after directing a couple of popular music videos.
It could be worse, though - "Charlie's Angels 3: One Last Job"
Well that sucked! The first one was great, but this, this was terrible. If I had wanted to see the Matrix, I would have rented it! That's all this was. Silly "Dumb and Dumber" meets "the Matrix". It was awful!!! Far worse than "Legally Blonde 2". (and that sucked as well!!)
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