[MOVIE REVIEW]If your religion’s fluff, go pray to these AngelsThe Angels are back. And they’re in Mongolia. Well, at least for the first few minutes of “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,” when they rescue a U.S. marshal from execution, diving off an exploding dam and revving up a helicopter in midair. Yes, from the get-go the stunts have been bumped up a notch. Or seven.
But no other bar has been raised. Woe betide any male who took an avowed feminist to the first flick ― or the current offering.
Cameron Diaz (Natalie) does her signature butt dance once again. Drew Barrymore (Dylan) plays the awkward-girl role for the same laughs. Lucy Liu (Alex), once again, isn’t thrown much good material. And all this with no Bill Murray, and, perhaps most sadly, no infectiously catchy Destiny’s Child theme song. Question: What were they thinking?!
The case this time involves the theft of two titanium rings encrypted with all of the identities and locations of people in the witness protection program. Yep, witnesses start dropping like flies. And wouldn’t you know it, the nefarious Irish Mafia’s behind it all? You’d think they’d have gotten enough screen time after “Gangs of New York,” but you can’t keep a bad Irishman down, I guess.
The story, if you can call it that, is told in a series of “loose vignettes” (a la the namesake ’70s TV series), integrating the richness of American culture (we even get the Olsen Twins!), impromptu dance sequences, spot welding and surfboard-licking, always culminating in some serious booty kicking.
The plot doesn’t stray far from what made the last film almost work. The Thin Man (Crispin Glover) returns, with his hair-raising past in a Roman Catholic orphanage explained. Luke Wilson and Matt LeBlanc again play the love interests of Natalie and Alex, and are thankfully given little screen time so we can focus on action of a different sort ― what these girls do best. And enough flash and flesh are thrown at the screen in this installment that it congeals as a stronger package.
Between parodies of “Cape Fear,” “Flashdance” and “Searching for Bobby Fischer,” we get a rip-roarin’ dirt bike race; celebrity cameos; amazing heavy-metal/big-hair flashbacks to Dylan’s first boyfriend, now the ringleader of the heinous Irish Mafia, and Cameron Diaz sporting an amazing mullet haircut in an undercover gig as a crime scene investigator. The comedian Bernie Mac is a welcome addition to the cast, stepping into the Bill Murray role as the Angels’ bumbling assistant, and Demi Moore makes a screen comeback as a fallen Angel with one heck of a mean streak.
The director, McG, fresh from a successful music video career and the first Charlie’s Angels film, is in his element here, tossing reality hard into the wind and instead delivering 105 minutes of pure eye candy.
Action, Comedy / English
by Jason Zahorchak