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Charlies Angels: Full Throttle (PG-13)
Columbia Pictures
Official Site
Director: McG
Producers: Drew Barrymore, Leonard Goldberg, Nancy Juvonen
Written by: John August, Cormac Wibberley, Marianne Wibberley
Cast: Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu, Bernie Mac, Demi Moore, John Cleese, Crispin Glover

Rating: out of 5

The long-awaited sequel to the year 2000 hit is finally out. Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle delivers on everything one would expect from a movie with such a suggestive title. Full Throttle takes everything about the last movie (already over-the-top to begin with) and pushes it to the next level. The same director and cast reprise their roles with the exception of Bernie Mac taking over for Bill Murray as Bosley.

Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle feels more like a collection of vignettes than a single cohesive movie. If it were not for the presence of the angels in every shot and the aura of silliness pervading this entire production one could easily believe that the movie was created by combining random clips from other films. Each little skit within the movie has the beautiful look of a music video, and often features a celebrity cameo. All of this is really an excuse to get the girls into a succession of more and more outlandish predicaments, forcing the angels to use their various “talents” including but not limited to mastery of disguise, kung fu fighting, and vehicular combat. Most importantly, few of the skits overstay their welcome; just as one gag gets old McG introduces a fresh, new routine. It’s like “Sesame Street” for grown-ups.

As much as one can tell the central plot revolves around Madison Lee (Moore), a fallen angel who has acquired the complete list of members of the federal witness protection program. Demi Moore shines in her bad girl role, vamping it up at every opportunity. She outperforms the original cast at their own game by being smarter, deadly, and sexier than all three angels put together. This movie is awash in subplots and the Madison Lee story is not given nearly enough screen time. The other diversions (and there are many) involve a Cape Fear rip-off that goes on far too long when Dylan’s (Barrymore) vengeful ex-boyfriend is released from prison; Natalie’s (Diaz) apprehension about an important question her boyfriend has yet to ask; Alex’s (Liu) “time out” from her boyfriend and her comical miscommunication of her true profession to her father (Cleese). These girls have some serious guy trouble!

Taken as a whole, this movie does not make any sense. Even some of its parts, the motorcycle race especially, do not make sense. None of that really matters because it’s all so much fun. Strings of double entendres and bad puns keep the mood light and so does the occasional song and dance routine. The movie never takes itself seriously and includes just the right amount of self-referential humor. The action choreography is fun and lightweight and a varied soundtrack, including Dick Dale, The Who, and many others, contributes to the movie-going enjoyment. Regrettably, girl exploitation replaces the girl power vibe of the original. This is the perfect movie to watch on television. Regardless of when you start watching, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle will still make just as little sense and be just as much fun.

—Woodrow Bogucki


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