Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle Reviewby John Ulmer (johnulmer2003 AT msn DOT com)
July 30th, 2003
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Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle - 1.5/5 Stars
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Demi Moore, John Cleese, Robert Patrick, Luke Wilson, Matt LeBlanc, Bruce Willis, Owen Wilson Director: McG
MPAA Classification: Rated PG-13 for action and sensuality
=REVIEW BY JOHN ULMER=
I liked "Charlie's Angels." It never took itself too seriously, and Bill Murray provided some comic relief, making the film more than just an hour and a half bikini advert. Something funny (or unfunny) happens in "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle": It's terrible.
I mean, this movie isn't bad, it's just awful. The acting is even worse than the first, there's no Bill Murray, and what were all the stars making cameos in this film thinking? Bruce Willis, Owen Wilson, and others make brief appearences, but what about Demi Moore, Crispin Glover ("Back to the Future"), Robert Patrick (better remembered as the T-1000 in "T2"), John Cleese (or was that a cameo?), Luke Wilson, Bernie Mac (who now has his own very popular TV show--he didn't need this to hinder his career), Matt LeBlanc ("Friends"), and so on and so forth, who all took main roles? Okay, I understand LeBlanc taking part in the film, his career is going nowhere other than "Friends," but seriously, Luke Wilson?! Between this and "Legally Blonde 2," the man may never make a lead role again (like in "Old School," a much funnier and more fun film than this). And John Cleese! What's with him and small roles lately? "Harry Potter," "James Bond," all of his roles are supporting: Whatever happened to his acting career? And that's not to mention what in the %% Cameron Diaz is doing in this movie. Drew Barrymore...maybe. Lucy Liu...definately. Cameron Diaz...NO WAY! I really like Cameron Diaz, and she can act (see "There's Something About Mary"), but what in the name of H.G. Wells is she doing in this? And why does she act so bad in it? I understand playing homage to the show with bad acting and all like the first film, but this pushes the limit.
The direction style is worse, thanks to "McG," and Drew Barrymore manages to steal the show as the all-time worst actress in recent years. I know it's not all her--it's the script. Anyone who has to say the stuff these girls say in this film should know they're in trouble, and should mutter the lines with utter chaos, but it's unbearable how corny the things they say are. And just check out their acting in a dirt bike scene, when Liu and Barrymore are "worried" and "scared" that Diaz's character might be in trouble. Youch! Bad acting to a new extreme. This film has the mediocrity of a horrible B-movie from the seventies, with a huge budget splattered on top.
Originally titled "Charlie's Angels: Halo" (the name changed due to copyright on the video game "Halo"), "Full Throttle's" plot is one of the worst I've seen in a long time. It's horribly contrived. Where should I begin? In the beginning of the film, the three Angels, Natalie (Diaz), Alex (Liu) and Dylan (Barrymore) rescue a hostage (Patrick) from a bunch of Hungarians. Stupidity ensues when the Angels fall off a bridge, dodging a missile, and manage to grab onto a helicopter or something before the truck they were in blows up. When watching this scene, the first things that enters your brain is this: How in the world did this pass Columbia TriStar's eyes? I mean, that scene is the kind of stuff I used to think would be neat when I was about ten, only back then they didn't make feature films out of idiotic ideas. Anyway, on with the plot.
After rescuing Patrick, they find out he was carrying with him a ring on his finger that the Hungarians stole. This ring, when joined with another, reveals the entire database of those on the witness protection program and their real names. Good Lord, I didn't know that the Government kept the names of their protected witnesses on a super-duper ring gadget so easily stealable. I mean, didn't this pass the actors and actresses' minds--maybe the film might be a bit sore on the plot?
I suppose that's not why people go to see this movie. They go to see the girls in bikinis. That's not a bad idea, the first one was like that, but if you're going to have a plot at least make it non-laughable. Even the first film's plot was better than THIS!
One thing leads to another, pretty soon they find out Dylan (who entered the witness protection program years ago) is being targeted for assassination by the Creepy Thin Man (Crispin Glover). One thing I found funny is that Crispin Glover refused to return for "Back to the Future Part II," demanding what writer Bob Gale said was "unreasonable" perks, yet he returned for "Charlie's Angels 2" in a flash. Interesting, Crispin, I see you've learned from your mistakes--sadly, you've used your wisdom to return for a terrible film.
"Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" isn't just miserable, it isn't just awful, it is just so mediocre it hurts. It's like a gargantuan mess, filled to the rim with bad acting, horrible "Matrix" rip-off fight scenes, and a God-awful script, all of which makes "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" one of the biggest cinematic disasters in recent years. I could spend hours wondering why the beautiful and talented Cameron Diaz chose to appear in this film, but in all honesty, it hurts my brain just thinking about it. What hurts my brain even more is the fact that this film has grossed close to 100 mil already, meaning more sequels. I weep for those that paid to see this movie expecting a treat.
I'll say once more to the fans of the films that I enjoyed the original as a guilty pleasure, but this is too much for me. Please, no more sequels.
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