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Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle (12A)



Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: Two

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: McG's telestrator commentary; Writers' commentary; Angel Vision Trivia Track - Angel Scouts location featurettes; 'Angels Makeover' Hansen Dam featurette; 'Designing Angels' featurette. 'Dream Duds' featurette; 'Full Throttle' featurette; 'There's No Such Thing as a Short Shot, Only an Overworked Producer' featurette; Music video - Pink featuring William Orbit 'Feel Good Time'; Cameo-Graphy - list of the celebrity cameos. DVD-ROM link to website; DVD-ROM link to the Charlie's Angels animated shorts; Angels Film School; Easter Eggs; McG interviews various crew 'Pussycat Dolls' featurette; 'Rolling with the Punches' featurette; 'XXX-treme Angels' featurette; Full Throttle Jukebox.

HAVING taken more than $250 million world-wide first time around, the idea of making a sequel to Charlie’s Angels must have seemed like a heavenly option; yet while the ensuing movie is mostly fun, there are times when Full Throttle ventures into OTT hell.

How much you take from it, largely depends on whether you enjoyed the first film, so if you thought the original was a waste of time, then the sequel is likely to appeal even less.

But then this is the type of Summer blockbuster which thrives on its playful stupidity; coming across as less of a movie, and more of an extended pop promo designed to deliver nothing more than its massive quota of eye candy.

Hence, the central trio of Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu get to indulge various fantasies (both for themselves and our viewing pleasure!), while doing very little to exercise the brain.

The result is a guilty pleasure - one which is knowingly cheesy, and not-so knowingly crap, but one which remains enjoyable in spite of itself.

The ‘plot’ this time around finds the Angels going undercover to retrieve two missing silver rings, which contain valuable encrypted information that reveals the new identities of every person in the Federal Witness Protection Program.

The ensuing search forces one of the heroines (Barrymore’s Dylan) to confront a dark secret from her past, while the others find themselves pitted against Demi Moore’s mysterious fallen Angel.

Yet the story is little more than a thinly veiled excuse to serve up the action, which starts off fun, but becomes increasingly tedious the more ridiculous it becomes.

Director, McG, a veteran of countless pop videos and nothing much else, turns Full Throttle into a visceral assault on the senses, bombarding you with enough gratuitous shots of bums and cleavage, fights and explosions, to leave your head in a spin; but runs out of steam halfway through, and allows events to spiral out of control.

By the time you reach the movie’s overblown finale, you’re likely to have had enough, which threatens to cast a shadow over the pleasure of what’s come before.

On the plus side, however, the movie begins well, kicking off with a completely wild Mongolian rescue, before taking in an exhilarating dirt-bike sequence, a bikini-clad stake-out and a bone-crunching fight at the docks.

The obvious sense of fun enjoyed by its stars translates well to the audience, while Bernie Mac (replacing Bill Murray as Bosley) is also good value, wise-cracking well in between the bouts of action, and it’s good to see Moore back on-screen, and showing a self-depreciating sense of humour.

The film even plays some well-observed sight gags at the expense of others (The Matrix, in particular), while throwing in the odd surprise cameo (which I won’t ruin).

It’s just a shame that it doesn’t know when to stop - taking that ‘nothing succeeds like excess’ motto to the Mac and letting its halo slip as a result.

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