Movie Reviews: Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle




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     Columbia Pictures (1 hr. 51 min.)
     The Angels are assigned to retrieve two missing silver rings that contain the names of every person the Federal Witness Protection Program.
     Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Bernie Mac, Crispin Glover
Bottom Line:


Who says you can't have your cheesecake and eat it too?

Not the three ace operatives of the Charles Townsend Detective Agency Natalie (Cameron Diaz), Dylan (Drew Barrymore) and Alex (Lucy Liu) who make men drool with their Matrix acrobats and juggling their...well you get the point.

Once again Hollywood, in search of an original idea, goes back to tv-land to rehash the 1970s action-comedy series for a second time.

The original "Charlie's Angels," which ran from 1976 to 1981, is pale in comparison to the 2000 and 2003 entries produced by Barrymore who pushes the envelope on action and camp. Think of Barrymore's rendition as "Baywatch" meets "Mission Impossible" on speed.

The luscious crime-fighting trio of old were led by faithful manservant Bosley, and they battled garden-variety crooks each week. The latest version jolts the audience out of their seats with James Bond pretitle opening sequences involving latex masks, jets, bombs, helicopters and super villains.

The plot involves the Angels and Bosley (Bernie Mac) having to recover a pair of rings encoded with the names of every person in the U.S. Witness Protection program from former Angel, Madison Lee (Demi Moore, who looks frighteningly thin).

Going undercover as motorcycle racers, CSI investigators and nuns, the Angels search for the rings and - to advance the plot - fight an array of exotic villains, including "Back To The Future's" Crispin Glover, who resembles a demented chain-smoking art deco Charlie Chaplin — a fan favorite from the first film.

As in the original film, "Charlie's Angels 2" is an action-driven film that relies on slow-motion shots every five to 10 minutes of Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore flipping their hair back with a flick of the wrist and close-ups of cleavage at every possible moment and angle. Jumping off of dams, rewiring computers and going undercover while exposing 80 percent of their bodies is all in a day's work. The only problem is the original film actually had some semblance of plot with a twist — a rarity in this genre.

Crispin Glover’s thin man character is totally wasted in this film. By the time Demi Moore’s character is exposed as the villain, the audience couldn’t care less. The film is bogged down in needless flashbacks and dance numbers after an edge of your seat opener. The original film had those, but at least they drove the plot. Bernie Mac as the new Bosley, replacing Bill Murray, is a funny addition, but his screen time is limited.

The filmmakers spent more time worrying about the Matrix-laden special effects than the plot in this film, which is a shame, because the plot and character elements were already in place, all the writers had to do was connect the dots. Very disappointing.



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