Rating: PG-13 for action violence, sensuality and language/innuendo
Cameron Diaz as Natalie Cook
Drew Barrymore as Dylan Saunders
Lucy Liu as Alex Munday
Demi Moore as Madison Lee
Bernie Mac as Bosley
Justin Theroux as Shamus O’Grady
Robert Patrick as Ray Carter
Luke Wilson as Pete
Matt LeBlanc as Jason Gibbons
Crispin Glover as The Thin Man
John Cleese as Alex’s father
John Forsythe as the voice of Charlie Townsend
Girls, surfboards, girls, dirt bikes, girls and mobsters! What’s not to like about the second installment of the Angels franchise? Is it a great summer blockbuster? No! It is mindless PG-13 fun!
The girls of the Townsend Agency are enlisted by the US Government to reclaim a pair of titanium rings – with an encrypted list of all persons currently residing in the Federal Witness Relocation Program – that are swiped by an unknown baddie with the intent to sell them to vengeful crime lords. The Angels swoop in just as the first witness winds up in a body bag. The road to recovering the rings brings forward Dylan’s trouble past.
This movie is mindless fun. It has no basis in reality, but doesn’t pretend to. The cast – foremost the three Angels – look like they are having a great time. The supporting cast and cameos read like an A-list of Hollywood hotshots. You tell me how can a film with British comedic icon John Cleese and eccentric outcast Crispin Glover not be on your must-see list?!
Other cameos include TV Angel Jaclyn Smith, pop star Pink, the Olsen twins, Eric Bogosian, Carrie Fisher and ex-Mr. Demi Moore himself – Bruce Willis. As for Demi, she is in full bitch mode as ex-Angel gone bad Madison Lee. While the fallen Angel role isn’t deep or a stretch for her, it is an easy ‘first role back’ from her Hollywood hiatus.
Bernie Mac fills the shoes left by Bill Murray with his own style. While some of his bits were hit and miss, I laughed more often than not.
The movie also parodies – or pays tribute – to several other films. The opening drinking contest scene in Mongolia mirrors Karen Allen’s initial scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. When the Angels investigate the origin of the Thin Man, it leads them to an orphanage and to a highly Blues Brothers-esque encounter with Fisher’s Mother Superior. Other films getting a tip of the hat include Saturday Night Fever, Moulin Rouge and Flashdance.
Also, stick around for the credits… bloopers galore!
What Didn’t Work:
The film resembles a live action cartoon or X-Box video game – with over-the-top action and gravity defying stunts that would make James Bond blush. The effects are CG’d and don’t look very good. Some are annoyingly bad, but this flick as all about suspension of belief… so I didn’t let it get to me. I was too busy smiling at the absurdity of it all.
“Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” isn’t going to work for everyone. It is wholly unbelievable and unimportant. But if you find the time, drive to the movie theater, by a ticket, sit down, turn you brain off and laugh for an hour and a half. I did.