In a summer of Terminators, Matrix's, Mutants and car chases, the newest foray into the film boom is the sequel to Charlie's Angels.
The sequel, Full Throttle, does deliver in a few ways. It has some great fight scenes, some big explosions, lots of gun play and relentless female forms. However, not even this can save the film. Boiling it all down, they escaped through a hole in the plot.
This so-called 'plot' is based around the quest for two rings. These rings contain information about people protected by the Witness Protection Program. And wouldn't you know it, an Angel is involved. Following a great trip to Mongolia, the Angels retrieve the rings, lose them, get them, lose them etc. This quest takes the Angels through a series of amazing escapades: They race bikes, surf, hide out as ice cream girls and even dance around a lot. Finally they confound the baddies, sort out their relationships and get on with it.
This nonsense goes on forever, but fortunately some great cameos from Bruce Willis and Robert Patrick make the trip a little more fun. But what really saves this film is Demi Moore. Moore has always been daring, prolific and determined in the parts she plays. Here, she plays a fallen Angel named Madison who has so many skills it is hard to keep track. But her two prominent skills are firing a gun and strutting around in a bikini. Moore is so dark, mean and generally over the top that she is fun to watch.
So much hype and publicity has surrounded her return to film, that in a way it has hampered the other aspects of this film, such as its humor, well-shot action scenes and choreographed mocking of 80s pop film. And Matt Le Blanc and Luke Wilson are back as clueless beaus who provide some much needed comedic relief to the film.
Bernie Mack is the new Bosley, replacing Bill Murray --whose on set fights with Lucy Liu in real life were not well kept secrets. Bernie is really funny as the new Bosley, but his talents are wasted. This guy needs more screen time. His character definitely has more fun than the previous Boz, but he really is underutilized here.
The same could be said for Crispin Glover. His screen time is so minuscule and insignificant that he shouldn't have bothered to even show up. A shame, because he made the first film really fun.
On the bright side, director McG compensates for his paper-thin plot with some great action sequences. This is not as much of a film as a series of videos or fight vignettes thrown together with thin connections to a plot. And McG definitely has the girls working it. All of the Angels are fleshed out via more character development. We see Dylan come into her own and face her past. We see Alex confront her Dad, a brilliant turn by John Cleese, about her work. We also see Natalie having more fun and figuring out where she is going. All of this makes for some fun gags.
It really is too bad though that a film with such great stars, such funny bits and awesome action scenes has been reduced to sparse, disjointed crap.
This could have been so much more. If only Full Throttle could have had all the fluff, kung-fu and humor contained within an actual story. It would've been less insulting and more fun!
At about the 45-minute mark you want to throttle somebody yourself-- anybody responsible for the weak plot, the scarce cohesion and the tiresome stop-start action sequences.
In a nutshell, when this film is on, it is on. when it is off, which includes the plot, cheesy script and lack of fluent editing between action and drama, it is really off. Timing is everything and this film fails to have a pace, a plot or any real center. But if you just want nonsensical fun with lots of breasts then this is your ticket!