Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle Review
Before the opening credits have even rolled, Natalie (Cameron Diaz), Dylan (Drew Barrymore) and Alex (Lucy Liu) have invaded a Mongolian bar, leaped through a window, blown up a tank and hung suspended from a helicopter flying through a narrow canyon. This time round, the Angels are in pursuit of a pair of rings which carry an encoded list of everyone on the witness protection programme. And someone from Dylan's past is after her...
Charlie is still voiced by John Forsythe, but there's no Bill Murray as Bosley this time round. Instead, we get his brother Jimmy (Bernie Mac). Your appreciation of Mac's comic style is no doubt down to personal taste and you may not feel, as I did, that he killed every scene he was in. And if you think that casting is admirably colour-blind, guess who plays Alex's father? (Correct: that well known short Oriental actor John Cleese.) The three leads are personable enough, and Demi Moore makes a strong impression as fallen Angel Madison Lee. There are cameo appearances from Carrie Fisher, Bruce Willis and ex-Angel Jaclyn Smith, amongst others, and Crispin Glover makes a brief reappearance from the first movie.
Back in the director's seat is McG. It's a cliché, and inaccurate, to suggest that former promo-video directors can only deal with narrative in five-minute chunks, but McG certainly lives up to stereotype. The flimsy plot is a thread supporting one setpiece after another, so you have enough to fill an hour and three quarters. You can't really expect light and shade in a popcorn movie, but there's only one tempo - double-time - and it all plays at headache-inducing volume. Full Throttle is right. Perhaps the next movie should be called Overkill. I was bored after 40 minutes. Unfortunately this film has 106 of them.
If you stay during the final credits, you'll see some moderately funny outtakes, as well as a brief scene at the very end. You may wish to know that a headbutt has been removed to earn the film a 12A certificate.