Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle


“Who cares about the story? Why do we need to learn more about the girls? Who cares about them? [laughs] Don’t people just want to see us in bikinis and jumping off high buildings? Hello!

Hello Cameron! Don’t fret, I know all those other critics are beating hard on your new movie, but I’m on your side. I don’t care about the story. I don’t need to learn more about the girls. Well, I do care about them a little (or at least about the charming actresses who portray them), but I get what you’re saying, babe. I want to see you in a bikini jumping off high buildings!

Was Charlie’s Angels a great film? Of course it wasn’t, and this “Full Throttle” sequel is even more of a pointless mess, but these films still manage to work as cotton-candy- comic-book-action-summer-movies, like big budget Russ Meyer flicks except that McG is more of a butt man than a breast man. “Full Throttle” is about nothing more than finding out how many different outrageously sexy outfits, ridiculously over the top stunts and cheesy-cool pop songs you can fit in one movie.

So Natalie (the nice one, played by Cameron Diaz), Dylan (the wild one, played by Drew Barrymore) and Alex (the smart one, played by Lucy Liu) are back, still taking assignments from their mysterious boss Charlie through a tacky speaker phone and a new Bosley, with comedian Bernie Mac (not so successfully) taking over for Bill Murray. There’s some kind of plot here involving the Witness Protection Program, encoded rings, the Irish mob and a disgruntled former Angel played with bodacious badassitude by Demi Moore (she’s still got it!), but none of it makes much sense. Again, it’s all about giving the girls excuse to wear colorful costumes, do stupid stuff and kick some butt!

Drunken Mongols! Mechanic bull riding! MC Hammer dancing! Surfing! Fast cars! Nuns! Explosions! Dirt Bikes! Strippers! It’s one big crazy ass ride and everyone wants in, with John Cleese, Robert Patrick, Bruce Willis, Robert Forster, Pink, Eric Bogosian, TV Angel Jaclyn Smith and the Olsen twins all doing cameos. Supporting players from the first flick Matt Leblanc, Luke Wilson and Crispin Glover also show up, but they hardly get anything to do beside, well, showing up.

And that’s the problem with this sequel, it tries so desperately to do more, more, MORE! that it becomes tiresome. As madcap as the original was, it still was somewhat cohesive, but “Full Throttle” is uneven even as mindless fluff. I could have certainly done without the dumb slapstick and silly sound effects (what is this, Benny Hill?). On the other hand, I liked how the fights are surprisingly rougher, Justin Theroux’s Cape Fearesque bad guy is pretty cool and the three leads are sexier than ever and obviously having a great time. This is a movie with less depth than a Maxim pictorial, but it’s fun. That’s gotta be worth something, especially in this summer of ponderous matrices and heavy-handed green monsters that think they’re philosophical allegories or Greek tragedies.