Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: "Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle" Sputters

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 100 (of 2003) by Leroy Douresseaux

Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003)
Running time: 106 minutes (1 hour, 46 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for action violence, sensuality and language/innuendo
WRITERS: John August and Cormac Wibberley and Marianne Wibberley, from a story by John August (from the television program created by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts)
PRODUCERS: Drew Barrymore, Leonard Goldberg, and Nancy Juvonen
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Russell Carpenter (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Wayne Wahrman
COMPOSER: Edward Shearmur
Razzie Award winner


Starring: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Lui, Demi Moore, Bernie Mac, Justin Theroux, Robert Patrick, Luke Wilson, Matt LeBlanc, Crispin Glover, John Cleese, Shia LaBeouf, Ashley Olsen, Mary-Kate Olsen, Pink, Jaclyn Smith, Bruce Willis (no screen credit), and John Forsythe (voice)

The subject of this movie review is Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, a 2003 action comedy from director McG. This movie is a direct sequel to the 2000 film, Charlie’s Angels. Both films are based on the television series, “Charlie’s Angels,” which was originally broadcast on ABC from 1976 to 1981. As in the first film, Full Throttle stars Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu as three women employed by a private investigation agency and working for the voice known as “Charlie.”

Charlie’s Angels, the 2000 film remake of the 70-80’s TV show of the same name, was a hoot, a delightful and highly entertaining action/comedy with the guile of a cool Frank Miller comic book. Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, the 2003 sequel, is an overblown, way over-the-top Hollywood production that’s way too full of crap, and miraculously, it still manages to be somewhat entertaining.

It’s pointless to even attempt to describe the plot, as it’s muddled nonsense. The real plot involves the indelicate manner in which the filmmakers place Charlie’s Angels in positions and situations that create mondo opportunities for shots of tits and ass. Natalie Cook (Cameron Diaz), Dylan Sanders (Drew Barrymore), and Alex Munday (Lucy Lui) return as Charlie Townsend’s (voice of John Forsythe) high tech-trained, super-powered, manga-like cuties. This time the grrrrls have to retrieve two encrypted rings, which when combined give up the locations of people in the FBI witness relocation program, and wouldn’t the bad guys love to have that info.

McG, the director of the first film, returns to helm this gigantic, flatulent cartoon that is Full Throttle. The script is lame, but all McG has to do is make the pictures look good, and, as a music video director, he knows how to do that. Imagine The Matrix on drain cleaner, Japanese cartoons (anime) on fast forward, soft porn on the rag, and comic books conceived by horny, high school upper classmen and dull-witted sorority boys and you have the Charlie’s Angel's sequel. Don’t get me wrong; there are lots of laughs. It’s difficult to tell if the filmmakers were trying to be clever or if they were cynical enough to believe that audiences really would take it ‘tween the cheeks. The end result is this dumb as a low-rent retard movie.

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle parodies action movie clichés…badly, and also throws in a stiff riff from Martin Scorcese’s Cape Fear. It’s just too over the top and too much of a crack-addled cartoon. I did like the way the filmmakers tried to created the vibe of a family extended around the Angels; that actually gave me warm feelings. Still, I was half enthralled and half bored out of my mind. For all the fun I had, there were as many moments when I wondered why the experience of seeing this felt so wasteful. This is simply too much candy, and frankly, unless you really crave an empty movie experience, you can wait for the tape. Someone might tell you that this is a sly, wink-wink, nudge-nudge movie and you have to take it for what it is. If he tries to spin trash as something smart, he is a way-too-easy ho for the big, movie making machine in la-dee-da land.

4 of 10

2004 Razzie Awards: 2 wins: “Worst Remake or Sequel” and “Worst Supporting Actress” (Demi Moore); 5 nominations: “Worst Actress” (Drew Barrymore, also for Duplex-2003), “Worst Actress” (Cameron Diaz), “Worst Excuse for an Actual Movie” (All Concept/No Content!), “Worst Picture” (Columbia), and “Worst Screenplay” (John August-also story, Cormac Wibberley, and Marianne Wibberley)

Updated: Thursday, June 27, 2013

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