Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner30/06/2003

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 111 mins

Enjoyable, fluffy sequel that succeeds as a bit of brainless fun and delivers admirably on its promise of 'more of the same' while at the same time not being quite as good as the first one.

When the first Charlie's Angels movie came out in 2000, it was one of the better blockbusters of that year and a smash hit to boot. Naturally, a sequel was, in Hollywood-speak "a no-brainer" (how apt that term is) and so cast and director have returned for a second instalment. However, though the sequel is undoubtedly 'bigger', it isn't necessarily better and though it's still a lot of fun, it's also ever-so-slightly disappointing.

Mutant Demi

The plot starts off quite well but rapidly becomes nonsensical. After a stunning pre-credits rescue sequence (already familiar to anyone who saw the 'helicopter' teaser trailer, which is a shame as it's the film's most memorable stunt), the Angels (Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu) have to retrieve two HALO rings, upon which are encoded the names of everyone in the witness protection program. Unfortunately they have ended up in the clutches of "fallen" Angel Madison Lee (a revamped Demi Moore, looking less like the Mutant Clone Of Courtney Cox and Jennifer Connelly than she did at the MTV Awards).

Basically, it's as if the producers looked at the best bits of the first movie (Cameron's 'Arse dance', breath-taking stunts, cool fight scenes, sexy costumes, double entendres) and decided to turn those particular elements up to '11' only somehow at the expense of whatever it was that made the first one so special.

Replacement Mac

There are some pretty amusing celebrity cameos as well as some welcome returns from the first movie (Matt LeBlanc, Crispin Glover) not to mention the surprise appearance of a Mystery Guest. Truth be told, however, the film suffers from the loss of Bill Murray (reputedly due to a clash with Liu) and Bernie Mac is a poor replacement who seems out of place.

The main problem is that, two or three key scenes aside, it just isn't all that funny. A lot of the gags fall really flat (a Cape Fear spoof seems very dated) and there are too many tedious Comedy Double-Takes.

Chicks Win Prizes

What really saves the film, then are the girls themselves. They look amazing (a scene set in a strip club is a highlight for Shallow And Obvious Reasons) and are perfectly cast - their combined charisma and joie de vivre carry the film through its ropier bits, though there are a few too many shots of them collapsing in giggles together.

Basically, Full Throttle doesn't do anything that the first movie didn't do better. It's not as funny, the sub-plots aren't as good and the film in general doesn't hang together as well. However, it's still a lot of fun and it seems churlish to chastise a sequel for just giving us more of what we liked about the first one. Perfect brainless Friday night entertainment.

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Content updated: 08/12/2019 23:00

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