Facebook Twitter


Charlies_Angels_movie_stillIt’s hard not to like a movie that features scantily-dressed fun-lovin’ women kicking butt and having a good time, but Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle rings so hollow I can’t muster much enthusiasm for it.

The first film, 2000’s Charlie’s Angels was empty-headed, but at least had a sense of fun. This instalment ups the hip quotient, taking all the elements that worked well in the previous one and amplifying them – the actions scenes are louder, the kicks (and the skirts) a little higher, Cameron Diaz has not one, but two dance sequences and story is even more confusing than the first – jamming maximum eye candy into every frame. It has everything that summer audiences crave, everything that is, except soul. The MTV reared director McG moves the action along at the speed of light, proving that he has an attention span only as long as his name.

Last time around McG and producer Drew Barrymore (who also starred as Dylan Sanders) created a movie that paid homage to, but winked at the original 70s television series. In that daftly subversive movie the trio were at the beck and call of the mysterious Charlie, but were in no way enslaved by him, which was the uncomfortable reality of the television show. The movie Angels were playful and powerful.

This time out the film tries to hard. The fun, what little of it there is seems forced and uninspired. Instead of empowered women, Full Throttle offers up high kicking Barbies devoid of the charm that made them so winning the first time. In lieu of an actual character Cameron Diaz (look for her to earn multiple nominations when the next Golden Booty Awards are announced) simply flashes her toothy smile and underpants around, while Lucy Liu is still trading off the same hard-core dominatrix pose she perfected on Ally McBeal. Only Barrymore’s character seems rooted in reality, but even that sense of humanity evaporates the first time we see her fly through the air, kicking the stuffing out of the bad guys.

As the villainous ex-Angel Madison Lee, Demi Moore looks fabulous in her barely-there wardrobe. Apparently she has spent a good deal of time since we last saw her on the big screen at the gym. Too bad she didn’t skip the weights and take an acting course or two. Never a brilliant actress, I believe this is the first time Moore has actually been upstaged by her own abs.

Other supporting cast members fare only slightly better. Demi’s ex Bruce Willis is seen for under a minute, while the teenage Olsen Twins barely muster ten seconds of screen time. Other star cameos include Pink, Robert Forster, Carrie Fisher, Eric Bogosian and television Angel Jaclyn Smith. Director McG should be fully throttled for his mishandling of John Cleese as Lucy Liu’s father. It’s a funny idea to have a tall gawky Brit playing the diminutive Liu’s father, but his talent is utterly wasted. He’s given nothing to do except react with bulging eyes to a string of cheap double entendres. On the plus side Crispen Glover reprises his role from the first film as The Thin Man, delivering a delightfully unhinged performance as the hair fetishist assassin.

In the end big and bloated are two words I’d never use to describe the Angels (for fear of bring pummelled) but would use to describe the movie.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.