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Overall Rating

Awesome: 17.19%
Worth A Look: 6.25%
Just Average: 24.22%
Pretty Crappy: 9.38%

6 reviews, 92 user ratings

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Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle
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by Rob Gonsalves

"More Pez-colored fun. I like these movies a lot. I don't care if you don't."
5 stars

Have any actresses been indulged with as much sincere and relentless affection as the stars of the 'Charlie's Angels' movies?

Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore (also one of the producers), and Lucy Liu show no signs of been-there-done-that in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, the sequel to the 2000 hit; once again, the tone is that of a giggly, sweetly knowing, megabucks slumber party, and when I caught it on opening night the audience of mostly teenage girls was alive to the Pez-colored daffiness. Like a hard guitar riff wedded to a poppy dance beat, these movies exist somewhere between Joan Jett's and Britney Spears' renditions of "I Love Rock and Roll" -- albeit closer to Joan, thank goodness.

Wild child Dylan (Barrymore), dorky Natalie (Diaz), and cool Alex (Liu) continue their empowering, gently feminist adventures: they eschew guns, they dance and eat with equal avidity, and, when provoked, they kick nine kinds of ass. (Significantly, their opening number this time out -- a rescue mission at a Mongolian tavern that winks at Raiders of the Lost Ark -- depends more on guile and retreat than on defensive violence.) The boys -- including the returning Luke Wilson and Matt LeBlanc, both as nonplussed as ever (LeBlanc is never funnier than when Lucy Liu has literally thrown him for a loop) -- mainly take the role of Boyfriend, much as women in male-oriented action flicks fill the job of Girlfriend. It should be noted, though, that the men -- except for Justin Theroux as a brutal heavy with an impenetrable Irish accent -- are handled with far more care and respect in the Charlieverse than women can expect in many a testosterone bash. In these films, nice guys finish first. Even Crispin Glover, popping in again as the Thin Man with the hair fetish, is given room to have a change of heart.

The plot is some nonsense involving a pair of rings encoded with the identities of people in the Witness Protection Program (one of whom is Dylan, hiding from her misspent youth). Strangely, for a movie that finds time to tip its hat to Marion Ravenwood, Cape Fear, Flashdance, MC Hammer, Terminator 2, Blue Crush, The Fast and the Furious, and Christ knows how many other pop-culture landmarks, Full Throttle never branches out into Lord of the Rings tribute (perhaps because these comediennes' sisters across the pond, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, have already presented probably the wittiest LOTR skewering ever). So our Angels either have to protect the rings or retrieve them -- I've already forgotten. Aiding them is the movie's new Bosley -- Bernie Mac, in for Bill Murray, and funnier and looser than Murray, who made do with what he was given in the original but seemed a bit constrained (he already had the modern classic Rushmore under his belt by then, and may have felt he was regressing).

It turns out that Bernie Mac's Bosley is actually the brother of Murray's Bosley, who grew up with an African-American family (add Steve Martin's The Jerk to the list). Director McG and his writers see no reason why that shouldn't be feasible, nor why Lucy Liu's starchy dad shouldn't be played by John Cleese. Full Throttle is turbo-charged bubblegum fun, but it's more affable than knee-slapping, and I only got two hearty laughs out of the evening -- once when a black kid sasses Bernie Mac ("Do not mess with the black man's do!"), and again when John Cleese, wildly misinterpreting the nature of his daughter's mysterious work, looks crestfallen nearly to death, and then, hilariously and rather touchingly, forces himself to accept the idea of Alex as a ravenous call girl. "Whatever makes you happy," he sighs.

That could've been McG's motto as a director on both of these adventures. Cameron Diaz loves to wiggle her butt to cheesy music? McG slams on the movie's brakes so she can do so. Drew Barrymore wants flashbacks to Dylan's bratty days as a face-painted wrestler and a hooting monster-truck driver? Not a problem -- Uncle McG gets the girls what they want. He has proven himself a master of the highly specialized field of explosive girl-power blockbusters; time will tell whether he has other shots in his cannon (though I don't see any Harold Pinter adaptations in his future), but I doubt that any other director could have delivered the Charlie's Angels films with as much verve, enthusiasm, and obvious love as he has. Or as much imaginative wham-bang showmanship: some of the over-the-top action here stands shoulder to shoulder with the set-pieces in The Matrix Reloaded, without the tedious white-room exposition.

The movie is even kind to Demi Moore, making a comeback as a cold-bitch former Angel with preternaturally white teeth. Now 40, Moore looks sensational in the bikini she wears in her first scene, and the camera genuflects to her even as the script demonizes her (the character commits the worst sin imaginable in the Charlieverse -- she turns her back on the sisterhood). Moore has been absent from the screen for a few years, disregarding Hollywood and raising her three daughters, and the hiatus seems to have done wonders for her -- she no longer has the humorless drive to succeed, to be taken seriously, that has marred her past work. She's here for the ride, and everyone working on the movie is thrilled to have her along, and you can feel her relaxing into the proceedings.

A scrapper by nature, Moore lets go here and moves with the flow, resulting in her most likable performance yet, despite the razory vixen she's playing. This formerly clenched and forbidding actress may yet have a future in light comedy.

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originally posted: 01/09/07 20:59:59
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User Comments

5/22/20 Charles T. Tatum, Jr. Makes the TV series look like Masterpiece Theatre 1 stars
12/28/17 morris campbell very silly but fun 4 stars
10/11/10 simon loved the first one, hated this! it's insultingly stupid!!!! 1 stars
6/08/10 Flathead King Few films are worse than this one. 1 stars
5/10/08 drydock54321 just as bad as the first one 2 stars
12/25/06 johnnyfog With Sam Rockwell gone, all thats left is Demi pretending she's gay. SHIT 1 stars
10/30/06 Jimmey-Cheen Taking crap to a new level!!! If there was a 0 star selection I'd take it!!! 1 stars
7/20/06 Anthony Feor I am going to say pass 3 stars
5/25/06 William Goss Crosses the line between dumb fun and just plain dumb that made the first so entertaining. 3 stars
2/04/06 Shawn Gadberry What went wrong after such a great C.A.#1? Blah... 3 stars
10/16/05 Hamster W. Lung Gave me anal warts 1 stars
9/27/05 Jonathon Holmes Moore, Diaz, Barrymore and Liu cant save this mess 2 stars
9/01/05 ES Bernie! Why?!? Not even you could save this cretinous lump of crap 1 stars
6/24/05 Mr Fluffy What in God's name was that? 1 stars
4/25/05 E-FUNK A limp-dick end to a repulsive franchise hopeful. I'm actually glads this was made. 1 stars
3/02/05 Laurie Le Blanc Crispin Glove/Thin Man's cameo is the only reason to see this movie! 3 stars
12/08/04 Kristina Williams thank GOD I didnt pay to watch this. 1 stars
8/26/04 ranger4e Unless you are into T&A, avoid. 1 stars
7/31/04 DM Good Lord, what have I done? 1 stars
7/19/04 Kill Charlie Holy crap was this move godawful. One of the worst ever. Avoid avoid avoid. 1 stars
7/19/04 axe warped and on speed captain! zzzzzzz@!@!@!ssssssss 3 stars
6/11/04 DJ ERIC 88 the motorcycle scenes rocked! THE BEST OF THE2 MOVIES! 5 stars
5/28/04 person I thought the film was eye catching and fun! 4 stars
5/25/04 Daveman Painful 1 stars
5/14/04 Mortis None of these women can act enough to save their own lives! 1 stars
5/06/04 HorrorScribbler Amiable nonsense. I think it was a comedy ... 3 stars
3/21/04 Natalie's good a second time, but... Helen treats audience like toilet paper -- they hafta take lots of shit off Helen Zass! 1 stars
1/28/04 EIHFHIS I saw Cameron in a BIKINI!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
1/26/04 lonesome_whistle Unbelieveably stupid - someone owes me $8.50! 1 stars
1/23/04 esther the worst film i saw last year 1 stars
1/20/04 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne First was good in very silly way, but Drew Barrymore sucks her won turds this time. 1 stars
1/07/04 A F Ok Lucy I love you but, you can do better than this heap. 2 stars
1/05/04 beautie never seen so much shithole heaped together 1 stars
12/20/03 Johnny Fay anyone who likes this movie should be killed!!!!!!!! 1 stars
11/28/03 john how bad can a movie actually get? a new world record ladies and gentlemen! 1 stars
11/26/03 he a good film 3 stars
11/24/03 Thiago Cool movie, bu the first one was better. still, The angels are more comfortable now. 3 stars
11/22/03 Mary P-U Reinforced my dislike for Camer, disappointed in Drew's choice to be in this crapper. 1 stars
11/21/03 he a good film but not great 3 stars
10/10/03 !BoRiNg! Its was stupid and lame 1 stars
10/07/03 kizes_rose17@yahoo.com it was so fantastic movie!!great! 4 stars
9/24/03 Jenna Furr What a letdown that this is harpy vomit, after first was so delightfully absurd! 1 stars
9/14/03 Carrie Kohl First is stupid in a fun and funny way. This is just stupid. 1 stars
9/13/03 Monica I'd just as soon see a crocodile swallow Helen Zass whole! 1 stars
9/12/03 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne Wish I could bury more of Drew's shitty flicks. Only Natalie was good this time. 1 stars
9/02/03 here beter then the first one 5 stars
9/01/03 Kitty B. u shoulda kept bill murray 1 stars
8/18/03 JJ from da block Where is freakin Kate, Jacky and Farrah dammit 1 stars
8/15/03 Red great 5 stars
8/12/03 Troy Butler Poor movie, ... but then again, ... that's not why we went to see it, now was it?! (Yummy)! 3 stars
8/09/03 Azza Mind numbing crap at its worst. 1 stars
7/28/03 Casey and Krissy The Movie Rules Mother Fuckers 5 stars
7/28/03 Charles Townsend This dissapointed even me!!!! 2 stars
7/23/03 Kooler Incoherant, occasionally fun. 3 stars
7/22/03 Shadaan Felfeli Jam packed with ridiculous impossibilities. Very entertaining ! 3 stars
7/21/03 Graham I didn't want to hit the director, which is as good as it gets this summer. Fun! 4 stars
7/21/03 Zargo not as good as the original.. still fun though 4 stars
7/18/03 Hottie I thought this was a GREAT movie and the actors did great also! 5 stars
7/17/03 Althalus The best movie so far this year. Matrix suck my d...k. 5 stars
7/16/03 Katie Roberts The 1st was gd fun, but this is complete crap, it has no story line, basically no point all 1 stars
7/15/03 sneaker Brainless? Yes. Fun? My word! It's Vin Diesel for girls. Fair's fair. 4 stars
7/10/03 Danielle Ophelia Filmed in loud strobes and hiccups...and a bit TOO Cameron-centric. Vastly underwhelming. 2 stars
7/09/03 Uncle Salty Charlies Fuglies: Demi is decent only since she is now a cyborg. 1 stars
7/08/03 Harpreet lots of T & A, not much plot. But I had a great time watching it and not having to think. 4 stars
7/07/03 Young critic junk...bottom line 1 stars
7/07/03 Todd Fuck you McG! Fuck you Camron! Fuck you Luci! and Fuck you Drew! Worst movie ever!!!!!!!! 1 stars
7/07/03 Trevor Ashman I loved every minute of it 5 stars
7/07/03 Hottie I thought this was a GREAT movie and the actors did great also! 5 stars
7/06/03 Emperor's New Clothes? Nope. Just a Fat, Ugly, Naked, Guy. Maybe our worthy reviewers see something us regular ol' viewers don't? Maybe not. 1 stars
7/06/03 Mike Glorified music video. Visual style my ass, Snider. 1 stars
7/05/03 adhump sucked enough for me to think about leaving30 mins into it .... 1 stars
7/03/03 vkm007 I CANNOT BELIEVE I PAID MONEY 1 stars
7/02/03 rog bad 1 stars
7/02/03 John Linton Roberson Someday, "stupid" will not justify crap's existence. 1 stars
7/02/03 R. Elizabeth Caulfield This movie was excellent, very comedic, very predictable yet comedic and fun. 5 stars
7/01/03 black leather jacket Was a fun film! Crank on the serious side alittle and you'd get a better film! 5 stars
7/01/03 ddd great i loved it 5 stars
7/01/03 snowconehead McG needs a new McJob other than McDirecting 3 stars
6/30/03 KingNeutron This is a perfect example of how NOT to make an action movie. 1 stars
6/30/03 MJM103171 i enjoyed it (first was bettter though) 4 stars
6/30/03 Obi Wan no way!! 1 stars
6/30/03 Cameron Johnson This movie is nothing but mindless T and A with an absolutely motiveless plot. 1 stars
6/30/03 i know movies i loved it sooo much i dont no wut yall are talkin bout 5 stars
6/29/03 KCobain Horrid 1 stars
6/28/03 ken real bad 1 stars
6/28/03 lebron avoid 1 stars
6/27/03 fdgdfgfd First movie was pretty bad, but this movie was even worse! 1 stars
6/27/03 The Kid Hollywood drivel at it worst. Even with four hot chicks mostly naked it was hard to watch. 1 stars
6/27/03 syrius eeehhhhh 2 stars
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  27-Jun-2003 (PG-13)



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