Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle (2003)

charlies angels full throttleIMDb

This was probably similar film to the first Charlie’s Angels film. It manages to not exploit its three leads as much as the original did, and Demi Moore plays a great ex-angel out for revenge.

The films picks up not long after the first film. Cameron Diaz is moving in with her beau (Luke Wilson) and there is all sorts of talk about marriage. The angels are asked to find two rings that contain knowledge about everyone who has been in the witness protection program. One of these people is Dylan (Drew Barrymore), so there is extra incentive for the girls to find this information and keep it out of the wrong hands.

This is very similar to the first film. It has some cool action scenes, a little bit of humour and the three angels look great. This film does not seem to exploit the Angels looks as much as the first one did. Cameron Diaz is definitely in pants more than she was in the first film. There is one ridiculous scene where the angels dress up as burlesque dancers, but other than that, it is not too bad.

Bernie Mac has replaced Bill Murray as the angels’ minder Bosley, and the film suffers for it. Murray was one of the highlights of the original and Bernie Mac is good, but he’s no Bill Murray. Apparently Murray and Lucy Liu had a falling out during filming of the first movie and he refused to work with her again. John Cleese is a lot of fun as Liu’s dad, but it is a small role and Matt LeBlanc also returns as Liu’s action star boyfriend.

I would say this film is on par with the original. It gets points for Moore, who is a terrific villain, but loses points for not having Bill Murray back as Bosley.

Rating: D-

The worst thing about this movie is that I would totally watch it again. I don’t know if it was because we watched these two movies back-to-back and my will to hate it was worn down, or because everyone involved in this franchise have doubled down on ridiculousness and the result feels much more like spoof than the first. Life is full of little mysteries. I’ve chosen not to dwell on this one too much.

This is really just more of the same: sexy outfits, wire acrobatics, girlish giggles, explosions. The only thing new is that Bill Murray, who portrayed Bosley in the first movie, has been replaced by Bernie Mac. Apparently Murray hated working with director McG (and allegedly also disliked working with Lucy Liu) so he was replaced. This switcheroo is disappointing, because Murray was one of the only genuinely great things in the previous movie. That being said, Bernie Mac does a great job here. He just has some big shoes to fill, in my opinion.

I honestly couldn’t explain the finer details of Full Throttle‘s plot because it was quite convoluted, but it had some fun elements. Demi Moore plays a fallen angel hell-bent on seeking revenge against Charlie (I think?). She’s actually great in this role. I remember a lot of the hype surrounding this movie was about how hot she looked “for an older woman.” Can we just say that she’s hot for a woman of any age? There’s also a tiny cameo by her ex-husband Bruce Willis that is enjoyable because Moore’s character shoots him. I always enjoy when couples (or in this case, recently divorced couples) play roles where they hate each other. Then there’s the final fight scene, where all the craziness reaches a fever pitch and Barrymore ends up kissing Crispin Glover.

I’d be remiss to not point out how dumb this movie poster is. Like 99% of the promotional material I saw in theaters at the time had the index finger colored in with a Sharpie so it looked like Diaz was flipping everyone off. Whoever approved this design either didn’t care that this would happen, or grossly overestimated the restraint of teenagers.

Rating: D

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