Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
on 28 July 2004
Let's get one thing straight before we go on: Charlie's Angels is a Popcorn Movie. It's a sweet dose of saccharine-rich eye-candy with a side order of custardy clichés. It's fun. There are no efforts being made to achieve success at the Oscars, no desire to make it big at Cannes. It's not trying make big political points or wave its opinions in your face. It's not presenting the audience with a philosophical poser. Like its previous iteration it's simply about high-quality low-concept thrills, and on this premise Full Throttle totally, brilliantly, delivers.
From the word go we are well and truly in what Director McG refers to as 'AngelWorld', the make-believe land where three sexy young femmes are an unstoppable force against all-those-who-seek-to-do-wrong. This time they face ex-Angel Madison Lee (Moore) who is trying her hardest to build her own evil empire, stealing the two witness protection scheme rings and enlisting the help of several bands of wrong do-ers to aid her. Okay, so the plot is as silly as they come, but that in itself is a joy and to be honest it doesn't matter at all. The film leaps effortlessly from action sequence to action sequence (claims that McG is a ex-MTV madman are unfounded), with well timed and edited intervals in between. It is sometimes difficult to keep up with the plot, but its impossible not to be swept up in the frenetic pace of it all.
It's also hard not to keep summing up Full Throttle in glib-hyphenated-soundbites, such is the enthusiasm with which it's been created and the feeling it leaves you with. One sequence sees Natalie (Diaz) performing an impromptu dance routine whilst out on a date with boyfriend Pete (Luke Wilson), strutting her stuff with the crowd around her and giving a knowing half-wink to the camera. Naturally enough the piece ends with her falling into his arms.
The soundtrack aids the riotous action on-screen, with no less than three tracks by The Prodigy (Breathe, Firestarter and the superbly ept Smack Your Bitch Up) and even the appearance of Electric Six's Danger! High Voltage! There are of course a large selection of disco choons- cringe-worthy "classics" that raise a laugh when they come on. These aren't just laid on like party pieces, though, they are knowingly placed by a skilled director. And say what you want about his career jump, he certainly knows how to make a brilliant looking picture.
Upon its release, people were quick to criticise this film on the grounds that it's unrealistic. Of course it is. But since when did that matter? Just as Neo is in The Matrix, the Angels are in Angelworld, a conceit that works perfectly well when you think about it (if you care to). Charlies Angels 2 dares to give the real audience - those who watch the film to be entertained, rather than to gain their 'right-to-reply' - what they want. In this world, it seems, people can't be happy with anything, not least a well-executed summer film.
Still, more fool them eh? Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle is everything you could want from a popcorn-munching-bubblegum-escapism-girls-in-pig-tails-summer-blockbuster. Et plus. The DVD features a glorious film print, an excellent commentary from helmer McG and some short featurettes.