CHARLIE'S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE
Two wide silver rings containing encrypted information about the identities and locations of everyone on America’s Witness Protection program go missing. Soon, witnesses start dying. The perpetrators could be the Mafia, the Triad, Russian gangsters or any other major and dangerous crim. It’s up to Charlie’s Angels Natalie (Cameron Diaz), Dylan (Drew Barrymore), and Alex (Lucy Liu) to retrieve the rings and save the rest of people on the list. They go undercover and are drawn into a series of electrifying adventures, starting in outer Mongolia and continuing on a ferocious and deadly motocross race, among other things, and come face to face with mysterious fallen angel, Angel (Demi Moore).
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Everyone making Charlie’s Angels Full Throttle obviously took the title to heart and had way too much fun making the film to be taken seriously. Bruce Willis is thrown away in an early cameo, even. The stunts are gphaw! and the self-parodying is endless, while the jokey, banter-laden script is served up inside a series of music video clips that passes for the story. The original TV concept was a one-liner idea that worked as pulp entertainment on the box partly because it was different for its time. Women in action roles, creating fantasy characters for young women while keeping the men interested in the curves of the action, as it were. Charlie, their boss, was male, of course. He still is their nominal and unseen boss, but the Angels are very much more in control, and even Bosley (badly misjudged casting of Bernie Mac here as a bumbling buffoon) is a mere appendage, an accessory for the sake of it. CAFT is pure fun, but it could have been trimmed by 10 minutes or so and the film could do with a remix so the dialogue can be cleaned up to be heard. I think I understood about 25% of it. As if it mattered… Teamwork, girly buddy-dom, kicking bad butt and having a good time are the primary elements, but the film will also appeal to young males with its fights, stunts and its series of raunchy shots of underdressed babes. It is what it is.
Review by Louise Keller:
The Angels are back with a plethora of energy, high kicks, jaw-breaking stunts and all the cheeky charm that made them winners the first time around. Yes, they’re crashing through windows, leaping off tall buildings, surfing, motocrossing, wrestling and doing everything that’s impossible. And all the while we are entertained and bewitched by their ever-changing guises, a dazzling wardrobe, a bevy of wigs, striking make up and ever-so-high stilettos that seem to come out of every encounter intact. At times the film appears to be an excuse for a fashion parade, a play at dress-ups, with amusing disguises as well as stunning fashions that compliment every curve. But it doesn’t matter. This is a good-natured romp that is as over the top as the wardrobe, with plenty of laughs, jaw-dropping action sequences and oodles of surprises. Director McG thinks he’s directing a music video – the touch of restraint he showed in the first film has been removed – the result is non-stop music action that makes us feel as though we are in constant motion. There are some funny moments re-establishing the credentials of each Angel, although I think the first film showcased their individual talents better. Here, the girls are often competing in the same scene for our attention, and our eyes rest on effervescent Cameron Diaz who steals scenes left right and centre with her disarming smile, long lithe limbs and mischievous sense of humour. Her lack of vanity propels her comedy talents into every no-fly zone, and she throws herself into the most ridiculous situations with no holds barred, looking equally enticing in an itsy bitzy teeny weeny white bikini as in fishnets and suspenders or a slinky evening dress. Lovely casting of John Cleese as Lucy Liu’s father, and the scenes in which they are having a cross purpose conversation are a treat. It’s a shame Bill Murray isn’t back to reprise his role as Bosley – Bernie Mac never really fits the bill (even though the idea of Bosley’s brother being an afro American is quite a hoot), but a cameo with former angel Jaclyn Smith is a nice touch. Demi Moore gives a physical display of her talents that should not be reckoned with, adding more glamour to the already saturated glamour posse. The Angels have come a long way since their television days, when they were three beautiful, smart girls on a mission for Charlie. Charlie is almost incidental these days, and the girls have evolved into super-heroes with a healthy appetite for fun. It’s zany and full of wow! Charlie’s Angels is super-charged turbo entertainment.
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Favourable: 1 (Louise)
Mixed: 1 (Andrew)
INTERVIEWS, B-ROLL & ANIMATED ANGELS
CHARLIE'S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE (M)
CAST: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Demi Moore, Bernie Mac, Luke Wilson, Matt LeBlanc, John Cleese, Jaclyn Smith
PRODUCER: Drew Barrymore, Leonard Goldberg, Nancy Juvonen
SCRIPT: ohn August, Cormac Wibberley, Marianne Wibberley (Story by John August)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Russell Carpenter
EDITOR: Wayne Wahrman
MUSIC: Ed Shearmur
PRODUCTION DESIGN: J. Michael Riva
RUNNING TIME: 106 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 3, 2003