Mark Reviews Movies


˝ Star (out of 4)

Director: McG

Cast: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Demi Moore, Bernie Mac, Justin Theroux, Robert Patrick, Luke Wilson, Matt LeBlanc, Crispin Glover

MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for action violence, sensuality and language/innuendo)

Running Time: 1:40

Release Date: 6/27/03

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Review by Mark Dujsik

Did we really need another Charlie's Angels movie? And did we need one that is pretty much the same movie as the original? Yes, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle is essentially its 2000 predecessor's equal, except that it's possibly worse, and that's saying something. I don't know what makes campy material work, but I do know when it does. I especially don't know why certain things which are supposed to play as camp don't, but I do know that when things like that do fail, they are usually about as fun to watch as it is to go through major dental work (although you do get the courtesy of local anesthetic for the latter). Now, it would be reckless to encourage people to undergo unnecessary oral surgery in lieu of going to a movie, but if you're in need of a filling or a root canal or having your wisdom teeth removed, you may want to consider taking care of that before you see Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, just so you can reassure yourself that, yes, there are less fun and more annoyingly painful things in life. Plus, you really should get that taken care of before it becomes too problematic.

So the first Charlie's Angels had something to do with… something. Forgive me for not remembering too much—if anything—about it, but if they make a third one (and based on the denouement, I have a bad feeling they will), I'll tell you now that you can expect the same then about this one. Anyway, Natalie, Dylan, and Alex (Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu) are back and start off their next mission in Mongolia , where Agent Ray Carter (Robert Patrick) is being held hostage. Dylan is undercover in the bar above where he's being held, Alex is covertly attempting to free him, and Natalie shows up as a foreign tourist and rides a mechanical bull. It's about this point that one realizes there's something seriously wrong with the movie. So the girls rescue Carter and begin to learn about the mysterious Halo Rings, which hold information about the federal witness protection program. It seems Carter had a ring, and the owner of another of them is found dead in his home. This could spell big problems and may even hit close to home, as it turns out Dylan is part of the program to hide from her ex-boyfriend, Irish mafia hitman Seamus O'Grady (Justin Theroux).

There's very little worth saying about the movie. The action relies on that ever-popular convention of defying the laws of physics, although with no real purpose here except to look cool. It doesn't, but that doesn't stop director McG (would you like fries with that?) from overindulging in slow motion. The opening sequences ends with a spectacularly idiotic stunt that has the girls driving a truck over a bridge and then falling into a helicopter that was conveniently onboard. Another involves a dirt bike chase where an assassin flips upside-down mid-jump to shoot at the Angels. It's interesting to note that during this scene, each and every bike that crashes explodes unless it is driven by one of our heroines. The rest of the movie consists of exploitative T&A (which is kind of counterproductive to the female empowerment theme the movie seems to hinge on, right?), bad jokes, one-liners, and puns that, I suspect, are supposed to be so bad they're funny but end up just being terrible, and cameos. There's a little fun to be had early on in the movie when there's at least one cameo for every two scenes and when the cameos consist of people like Robert Forster and Eric Bogosian (there are more popular folks like Bruce Willis and John Cleese), but enough is enough pretty quickly.

Ironically, that's my philosophy on the entire movie, a feeling that has carried over intact from the original. I guess I'm glad that Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu had so much fun making the movie, as is apparent from the outtakes during the credits, but then again, maybe I'm not. After all, what good did it do? I mean, there's actually a three-second shot of bird crap in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. They probably could have extended that shot to an hour and forty minutes, replaced the entire movie with it, and I doubt it would have been much worse. You might not have even been able to tell the difference.

Copyright © 2003 by Mark Dujsik. All rights reserved.

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