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Charlie's Angels: Full... (2003)
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Review Date: June 23, 2003
Director: McG
Writer: John August, Cormanc & Marianne Wibberley
Producers: Drew Barrymore, Leonard Goldberg, Nancy Juvonen
Actors:
Cameron Diaz
Drew Barrymore
Lucy Liu
Plot:
Charlie's ladies are back again and this time they've got yet another mindless crime to solve, scary men with great abs to chase and smoldering older actresses to tame. If you're reading this part of the review because you actually think that this movie has a storyline, this film isn't for you. All you get here is mindless entertainment featuring three sexy lady spies who kick ass, spew one-liners and shake their booties every now and again. Interested?
Critique:
The first half of this film was the funnest half of any movie that I've seen so far this year. Unfortunately for all involved, the energy, the script and the overabundancy of characters gives way in the second half and despite a decent ride, doesn't maintain the consistent rhythm quite like the original flick. In other words, this is a fun movie that peeks at about the 45-minute mark and sustains some fun until the end, but not enough to warrant an all-out "awesome summer popcorn flick" tag on its gorgeous ass. In my opinion, one of the film's greatest drawbacks this time around is its insistence on inserting a new character into every other scene with many of them simply not engaging on any level. There's a new "kid" who gets involved in a tiny subplot, a well-known actor playing a father who gets involved in another insignificant secondary story as well as the two boyfriends from the original who return to play...well, the two boyfriends from the original! Even worse is that their wasted time seems to have taken away from the great Crispen Glover's pages, as he returns but only for a couple of small scenes (loved the eyebrow thing, dude). The new Bosley, played by Bernie Mac, was also a disappointment and wasn't as funny as I'd hoped. I wasn't a major fan of Murray's Bosley in the original either, so I'm not sure what they should do with that character the next time around. Demi Moore was a nice-looking addition, but the close-ups on her face weren't especially flattering. What also sucked about her character was that everyone in the audience was already aware of who she played in the film (from the trailer), but for some reason, the story tried to keep it a "mystery" until the very end, which obviously didn't work. Justin Theroux, on the other hand, was "the man" as the new bad guy and how about that friggin' 10-pack? Now that's a rock-hard bod!

The film is also packed with cameos, none of which I will give away here, only to say that some work while most exist merely to distract ("Hey look, that's so-and-so!") But in the end, it's the action, the hot chicks and the groovy dance scenes that make this franchise what it is and we get plenty more of them here, starting with the hilariously over-the-top opening sequence through to the girls lap-dancing, ass-kicking and the most awesome sequence of all, a lengthy, inspired motorbike race that will blow your nuts clean off! Unfortunately, this sequence takes place at about the halfway point, and much of what comes afterwards, simply doesn't rise to that level again. The movie's soundtrack, on the other hand, is as booming as the original, with a catchy tune playing at every turn, including plenty of hard stuff, techno as well as some classics (and when I say "classics", I mean stuff like "Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer) One thing you do gotta give McG is that the man sure knows how to make a scene feel alive, as much through the music, the setup, the style utilized and the colors/filters involved. This film looks damn sweet!! It also includes about a zillion homages from THE SHINING to THE SOUND OF MUSIC to CAPE FEAR to REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and many more. Much like the cameos, some of these are cute and work, while others feel forced and for no reason (the FLASHDANCE one, for example). Some of the corny jokes are also to be expected in films like this (it's all about camp, after all), but much like the James Bond series has overplayed its sexual innuendos in the last few installments, so do the ladies take it too far with some of their "pun" jokes here (the entire play on the word "ass" wasn't all that funny and neither was the major "misunderstanding" with Liu's dad).

But overall, I still loved the film's energy, absolutely adored its soundtrack and look, appreciated all of its over-the-top action sequences, but could have done without some of the sloppier scenes in between (the whole Dylan "emotional" angle was in the wrong movie), as well as a handful of the new characters and cameos which seemed simply to be filling a slot, instead of actually contributing to the fun. As mentioned in my review of the first film though...don't go into this film expecting a realistic, believable, sensical story about three super-spies with hidden talents (in fact, if you didn't like the first one, you will surely not enjoy this one either), because you will be sorely disappointed. This movie asks you to leave your brain at the door and enjoy the tits, the surf, the ass (and I gotta stress the word "ass" because...well, they are stressed!!), the ridiculous action and the corny lines and gags. I fully enjoyed the first installment because it was all that in a tight neat package, and despite this one starting off on the right foot, it didn't fully deliver in all-out entertainment (and also runs about 15 minutes longer than the original), but came close enough to recommend as an enjoyable romp for those interested.
(c) 2017 Berge Garabedian
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