By Vic Holtreman
Short version: Oh my God, this movie actually made a profit?
Ok, so I'm late to the party reviewing Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. I certainly wasn't going to pay good money to see it, and I didn't even want it to soil my Netflix queue, but when I stumbled across it in upcoming movies on my satellite box, I figured I'd Tivo it for when I was particularly bored.
So where do I begin? Perhaps with a call to my lawyer so that I can sue for emotional damage incurred by having sat through the entire movie.
This wasn't just bad, it was B-A-D. Actually it was bad enough to cross over into the hallowed ground of Mystery Science Theater 3000. If you want to see this movie, buy a case of beer, invite a bunch of buddies over, send the wives out for the evening and let the exclamations of amazement begin.
This is a review of the broadcast TV version of the movie, which was bad enough, so I have no idea what additional masturbatory footage is in the "Unrated" version of Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.
The movie (I just can't bring myself to call this a "film") opens in Outer Mongolia or some such place, with the setting and a drinking scene obviously paying homage to (or ripping off) Raiders of the Lost Ark. There are many little nods in this movie to other films like Flashdance, The Sound of Music and Singing in the Rain as well as the TV series Starsky and Hutch.
The "Angels" are there to rescue a government-type who it seems has been kidnapped just for the ring he is wearing, which is one half of a pair of rings that when combined provide access to (are you ready?) the entire witness protection program database. The other ring is worn by another government guy (details really are unimportant in regards to this movie) who is played by Bruce Willis in a cameo.
Right from the start the uber-silliness/titillation begins with Cameron Diaz showing up in some mini-skirt Swedish fantasy outfit and commences to ride a mechanical bull looking device with plenty of eye candy available. The girls must then face off a room of 50 guys including just one (apparently) with a machine gun, which of course miraculously misses them as they do their gymnastics.
They rescue the guy and end up back at their HQ where we meet the new Bosley, played by Bernie Mac. I'm not clear on whether Bill Murray (Bosley in the first movie) was supposed to be his adopted brother or what. In any case Mac seems to be uncomfortable within his own skin through the entire movie. I don't know if that's his "schtick" or whether on some level he understood what a horrible situation he was trapped in. I found the character just plain annoying and out of place even in the extreme fantasy that comprises the world of Charlie's Angels.
That's all I'll bother to mention about the story, since that is pretty much incidental. Demi Moore appears in the film as an ex-Angel, showing off her hard-body in a scene with Diaz which seems like a prelude to a lesbian love scene. Jaclyn Smith (one of the original "Angels" from the TV series) also makes an appearance, with much glowing and soft focus effects.
There are action sequences that are so over the top that I'd have a hard time suspending disbelief watching them even if this were a comic book superhero movie. There is more wirework here than on a prototype nuclear bomb, and the way these characters escape virtually unscathed from high speed impacts is truly laughable. In one scene Lucy Liu is launched from an airborne car moving at what must be over 60MPH through the air and through a plate glass window and comes out of it with a few smudges of dirt on her face.
But the real topper (even moreso than the sequence at the start of the movie where the girls all grab onto a helicopter falling off a bridge, start it and take off) is a scene towards the end where they are all swinging over the city on electrical cords looking for all the world like Spiderman. Just to really put it over the top, they are chasing Demi Moore who has spread the "cape" on her dress (which is obviously made from a gauze-like material) as she glides over the city looking like Batman in Batman Begins!
I don't know how actresses can play parts like these and look themselves in the mirror in the morning. Honestly, if I ever hear any of the female stars of this movie speaking out against female stereotypes I will just pop my top.
If the big action sequences were toned down a bit budget-wise, this would have been a typical TV movie-of-the-week. It was just utterly awful and aimed squarely at teenage boys who would go home after the movie was over to fantasize about what they had seen on-screen.