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Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle   D+

Columbia Pictures

Year Released: 2003
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: McG
Writers: John August, Cormac Wibberley, Marianne Wibberley
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Bernie Mac, Demi Moore, Justin Theroux, Crispin Glover, Luke Wilson, Matt LeBlanc.

Review by Sean O'Connell

Seasoned with sass and girly-girl empowerment, Charlie's Angels was a surprisingly delicious casserole that mixed action with attitude, comedy with combustibility. Summer movie junkies bellied up to Super Sized servings and dreamt about how good this concoction would taste the second time around.

Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, a frustratingly mindless sequel, is the exact same dish that's been left out on the kitchen counter for days. The grease sinks to the bottom of the pan. The noodles are soggy and flavorless. Flies are starting to buzz around the moldy meal. Anyone brave enough to sink a fork into director McG's reheated rations will be rewarded with the stale taste of leftovers.

If that sounds appetizing, get ready for gluttony. Full Throttle amplifies everything that worked for Angels, but suffocates the film with excess. We've got more wire work, more cameos, more '80s sing-along tunes, more bad blue-screen work, and, of course, the appropriately named Demi Moore. The only thing missing is the fun.

Following an opening stunt sequence that looked better in the trailer, Angels Natalie (Cameron Diaz), Dylan (Drew Barrymore) and Alex (Lucy Liu) hold off braiding each others' hair long enough to receive their next mission. H.A.L.O., a federal database that exists on two silver rings, has been stolen. The files contain info on every person entered into the government's Witness Protection program. The main suspect is Madison Lee (Demi Moore), a rogue agent whose goal is to eliminate her former boss, Charlie.

A team of monkeys banging away on typewriters could produce a sharper screenplay. The element of surprise Angels enjoyed has been replaced by expectations, and Throttle can't rise to the challenge. The stunts are ludicrous, even by Angels standards. Bernie Mac improvises every line with gusto but hardly musters a laugh. John Cleese bumbles about as Alex's father so the movie can rattle off cheap sexual double entendres. Crispin Glover even reprises his role as The Thin Man, though he looks more confused by his pointless presence than we do.

Throttle should sink under the weight of its own excess, but gravity affects nothing in the Angels universe, so the flick simply lingers in space. The original's high caloric cinematic treats actually generated a sugar rush. Full Throttle serves up the same sweets, but only causes a belly ache.

Review published 06.25.2003.

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