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Charlie's Angels - Full Throttle

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Judy Thorburn

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle

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“CHARLIE’S ANGELS – FULL THROTTLE” IS OVER THE TOP

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I’ll get right to the point. If you are a heterosexual male who enjoys scenery that consists of three foxy ladies jiggling and showing off their sexy bodies, than this follow up to the original Charlie’s Angels blockbuster screen version from 2000 is right up your alley.  Come to think of it, that’s exactly what its TV counterpart was all about. That series made poster queens and stars of its leading ladies, Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith, and Kate Jackson, because they were hot chicks. But, at least each episode had situations that were linked in some way to keep the story together.  That was the seventies.  This is now. Don’t expect as much here. If you thought the first Charlie’s Angel movie was high pumped fluff, the title Full Throttle speaks for itself. The plot could not be more paper-thin.  The focus is on the sexy leading ladies, and how they use their sexual prowess and extraordinary other abilities in one outlandish predicament after another.   It’s all about them having fun and camping it up at the expense of a decent script.  Keep the action going at a rapid pace; lace it with over the top stunts, numerous star cameos and silly humor, and hope the audience goes along for the ride, no matter how ludicrous.

Let’s talk girl power!  Right from the start, these angels are able to defy gravity and survive an amazing leap off a Mongolian dam by flying through the air and landing in a helicopter, go head to head (or bike to bike) with the best motor cross racers or use their incredible martial art skills to fight off the villains. And, oh yes, as masters of disguise, they impersonate ship welders and nuns. But, for a chance to see them really shake their booty, the girls have a grand old time impersonating singing and dancing strippers at the Pussycat Club.

Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu are back as Charlie’s Angels, Dylan Sanders, Natalie Cook and Alex Munday respectively.  Their mission, this time, is to retrieve two stolen rings, that when linked together unlock a code that unleash the identities of all the people in the Federal Witness Protection Program. After they are stolen off the fingers of two government agents (Robert Patrick and Bruce Willis), the girls are called in to find out who is the mastermind behind the theft and track him down.    But, “he” turns out to be a “she” in the form of fallen “former angel”, Madison Lee (a remarkably bodi-licious, Demi Moore, in her screen comeback) who has moved on to the “dark side”, and has it out for her former boss, Charlie (voiced by the original, John Forsythe).  Demi is deliciously evil, but doesn’t get enough screen time, which is too bad.  She’s the highlight of this mess. Then there’s this secret about Dylan’s past, her connection to the Government’s Witness Protection Program and her former boyfriend, Irish thug and murderer, Seamus O’Grady (Justin Theroux) who, newly released from prison, is seeking revenge. If that isn’t enough, that very creepy “Thin Man” (Crispin Glover) is back in the picture, if only for some brief scenes.

There are a few subplots with Matt LeBlanc returning as Jason, Alex’s actor boyfriend (virtually the same role he plays in Friends) interacting with Alex’s visiting father (John Cleese, totally wasted playing the straight man here).  Their conversation leads to double entendres and a misunderstanding about Alex’s work. It’s a bit amusing, but not very original. Also returning is Luke Wilson as Natalie’s boyfriend, and Bernie Mac taking over where Bill Murray left off, as another Bosley. Poor Bernie is relegated to a few jokes, and basically looks bewildered by his surroundings.

There is an eclectic list of cameos that include Carrie Fisher (as a Mother Superior, no less), singers Pink and Eve, Eric Bogosian, The Olsen Twins, (a disguised) Owen Wilson, and even original TV Angel, Jaclyn Smith, who lends some words of wisdom to one of her younger successors.  Plus, there are situations that pay homage to all sorts of movies such as the Indiana Jones series, Cape Fear and even Chicago.

Almost everyone appears to be having a blast. And why shouldn’t they?  Who wouldn’t mind getting a big fat paycheck for just having fun? The question is will the audience fall for this far-fetched silliness?   I know it’s intended to be taken as pure entertainment, even though it is goofy and brainless. It didn’t work for me. I see another overloaded piece of cinema drivel and a waste of big Hollywood bucks!

Charlie’s Angels Full Throttle speeds past the line and goes overboard. As far as I am concerned it’s full, all right– full of itself.  The Angels may be heavenly to look at. But, I think they need their wings clipped and brought a little more down to earth.

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