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CHARLIE'S ANGELS: FULL THROTTLE
U.S. Release Date: June 27, 2003
Distributor: Sony / Columbia
Director: McG
Writer: John August
Producer: Patrick Crowley (executive)
Composer: Ed Shearmur
Cast: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu, Bernie Mac, Crispin Glover, Justin Theroux, Robert Patrick, Demi Moore, Rodrigo Santoro, Shia LaBeouf, Matt LeBlanc, Luke Wilson, John Cleese, Carrie Fisher
Running Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (action violence, sensuality and language/innuendo)

Full Throttle Fun
by C.A. Wolski

There are three reasons to see Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, and not one has to do with the plot. This latest effort by music video director turned action auteur McG exists for one reason and one reason alone: to put beautiful girls (Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore) in front of the camera and have them be sexy and tough. With Full Throttle, McG has simply refined the formula he used in the first Charlie's Angels movie, jettisoning intrusive elements like plot for bigger action and skimpier bikinis.

And it works spectacularly well, for what it is. This is not Shakespeare, nor do the girls or McG ever pretend it is. And, aside from what producer Barrymore may claim in press interviews, Full Throttle has nothing to do with female empowerment. It's a meditation on action T & A. Ostensibly, the "plot" has something to do with the theft of two titanium rings that are the key to the witness protection program. The Townsend Agency and its operatives, tough girl Dylan (Barrymore), brainiac Alex (Liu) and athletic ditz Natalie (Diaz), are hired to get the rings back leading to all sorts of mayhem and outrageously sexy situations (including a dance routine in a San Pedro Harbor establishment called the Treasure Chest).

In between the hijinks, the Angels have personal problems to sort out. Liu's long-suffering boyfriend (Matt LeBlanc, playing a more successful version of his Friends persona) accidentally convinces her father (John Cleese) that she's a prostitute. Diaz's boyfriend (Luke Wilson) has just moved in with her and is about to move their relationship to the next level. And Barrymore's past comes back to literally punch her in the face.

What's more, comedian Bernie Mac replaces Bill Murray as Bosley. It's a bad bit of casting with Mac treading water throughout the entire movie. Demi Moore is fun as bad girl ex-Angel Madison Lee, with her reported cosmetic improvements put on full display, almost upstaging Diaz in the bikini department. Crispin Glover returns as assassin with a hair fetish, the Silent Man. In addition to the returning regulars, there are a slew of cameos ranging from Bruce Willis to the Olsen twins, which makes each scene sort of a game of spot the celebrity. The only holdover from the '70's TV show is John Forsthye's unseen Charlie.

The real stars, though, of the movie are the over-the-top action sequences that outdo James Bond to the nth degree.

With Full Throttle, McG has done more than create a viable action franchise. He has created the first female buddy movie franchise, which follows similar yet subtly different rules than flicks like the Lethal Weapon series, specifically the teamwork aspect of the Angels' "investigations."

Dumb, hyper-sexed, overproduced, loud, out of control and with no story, Full Throttle is the perfect summer movie for the MTV generation.


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