Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)

PG-13   |    |  Action, Adventure, Comedy


Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003) Poster

The Angels investigate a series of murders which occur after the theft of a witness protection profile database.


4.9/10
120,027

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6 July 2003 | bob the moo
Quite fun but the total lack of substance is a real problem
The Angels rescue Marshal Ray Carter from Mongolia but leave without what they presume to be his wedding ring. Later they find out that the ring is one of a coded pair that, once combined, unlocks the data for the location of the entire witness protection programme. The other ring has also been taken from it's holder and the holder murdered. The Angels are charged to bring back the rings but along the way they encounter secrets from the past including a violent old flame from Dylan's youth seeking revenge and an ex-Angel striking out on her own.

It was with a heavy (but open) heart that I went to see this film. I had enjoyed the first film (for all it's flaws) but I didn't really want to see a film that just went over the same ground. Happily CA2 didn't just make the same mistakes as the first film did – it actually went beyond them! One problem with the first film was that the plot had too many scenes that just seemed to happen without reason or consequence (the race cars scene for one). However here the majority of the scenes seem to exist outside the plot. It's like they knew that they wanted to repeat the essence of some scenes from the first film and, if they couldn't fit them into the plot, then they just dropped them in anyway. Scenes that were enjoyable in the first film were just not quite as funny the second time round.

The plot is so disjointed that it really does feel very episodic and I struggled sometimes to see the narrative flow – mainly because for large sections of the film there wasn't one. Characters are dropped in for little reason, scenes occur that are wedged into the plot simply because someone had the idea in isolation and got it added to the film etc. However I won't waste time debating this here as I think many agree that this film was never meant to provide substance. Which leaves us with style. McG is aptly named as he is responsible for a mass produced product that seems to lack invention or spark of it's own. It was possible to look at the first film as a tongue in cheek satire of blockbusters – but to do the same thing all over again made me realise that he wasn't satirising the cult of excess – he is actually part of it and worse, he hasn't got ideas of his own.

Hence we have scenes that are more like music videos. The soundtrack pretty much covers the whole film, lest we should have a quiet moment to think! Also the action scenes are sub-par Matrix rips – once he may have gotten away with it but the joke has worn thin. The action is just silly and makes it very hard to get excited or involved. The opening sequence is just laughable and sets the tone – it's a shame as some of the fights are well choreographed and could have been good if they hadn't been pushed to being OTT. The constant use of slow motion and linger shots of the girls' asses or blowing hair also gets quite tiresome in the end. The film has quite a few good references to other movies (eg Cape Fear & Sound Of Music) however these only work if they exist as scenes themselves and not just as references. To show you what I mean, `The Simpsons' spoofed Cape Fear, but the episode stood in it's own right. In CA2 some references seem only to exist as references and not part of the film. The constant use of in-jokes and styles from other films stopped feeling like clever fleeting references and started to feel like McG just plundering for things to fill his film – I mean, doesn't even the concept of a quest for a ring sound familiar to anyone, never mind the Matrix effects?!

The cast is amazing and it is to McG's further shame that he makes poor use of the majority of them. The lead trio are good but (as the outakes show) seemed to have had more fun making it than I had watching it. Liu comes out the best for my money as she is the most convincing fighter and is the sexiest! Moore is alright in the support but she is poorly used – she really does have a very small role, most of which is to show off her new body. Mac is a major let down – from the trailer he had looked funny but the truth is that he gives a poor minstrel performance at best. He has a few funny lines but he is not as funny as I've seen him – his failure makes the loss of Bill Murray feel 100 times greater. Theroux is physically impressive but has a terrible accent that wonders from Northern Irish to Southern Irish to some sort of flat Scots at times. The support cast is deep and mostly wasted - Bruce Willis has about 3 words and 1 minute of screen time, Fisher, Patrick, Eve, LeBlanc, Wilson, The Olsen's, Smith, Forster and Pink (to name a handful) all have very little to actually do and it just turns their scenes into a game of `oh look it's …'. The biggest waste is Cleese who is given nothing to do but do bug eyes over cheap innuendo and whisper `ferret'.

Overall I'm aware that to make these points is a waste of my time as many fans of this film will acknowledge them and say `so what?'. Hell – I half enjoyed the film as a piece of fluff for a Sunday afternoon with mindless action and sexy ladies – but it's hard for that to totally suffice and, try as I might, I couldn't help but feel like I wanted something more from it.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

As William Rose Bailey. The name is a reference to Guns N' Roses singer W. Axl Rose, whose real name was William Bruce Bailey until he was seventeen.


Quotes

Bus-Stop Kid: Man! You do not mess with a black man's do!


Goofs

When Alex is in the chess match and replying to the little boy's silent plea, her teeth can be heard clicking together when she opens her mouth, instead of when she closes it.


Crazy Credits

Outtakes and a scene in which the Angels are washing a car in a sexy way are shown during the credits.


Alternate Versions

The US theatrical version was edited for violence and sex to avoid a R rating. This version was the basis for all international releases. For home video the film was released in its original theatrical version (North America only) and in a special "unrated" version (worldwide except UK). The unrated version contains a few more scenes of sex and violence, including an extended "Pussycat Dolls" dance number, some shots of characters lying still when dead or unconscious, and more graphic depections of some of the characters' demises. Also included in this version are two instance of characters spitting blood from their mouths during a fight and a reference to the first film. During the fight with the Irish mob on the freighter, Dylan puts her legs in the air while seated in an attempt to distract her attacker, similar to how she delayed a fight in the first film.


Soundtracks

Hooray For Hollywood
Written by
Richard A. Whiting and Johnny Mercer

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Adventure | Comedy | Crime

Box Office

Budget:

$120,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$37,634,221 29 June 2003

Gross USA:

$100,830,111

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$259,175,788

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